15 May, 2018

Peter Tosh


Peter Tosh was a Jamaican reggae musician. Along with Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer, he was one of the core members of the band the Wailers (1963–1976), after which he established himself as a successful solo artist and a promoter of Rastafari. 


Christopher Stone


Major Christopher Reynolds Stone was the first disc jockey in the United Kingdom.

He was the youngest son of Eton College's assistant master and Stonehouse preparatory school's founder Edward Daniel Stone. Christopher Stone was educated at Eton College and served in the Royal Fusiliers. In 1906 Stone published a book of Sea songs and ballads and in 1923 he wrote the history of his old regiment. He became the London editor of The Gramophone, a magazine started by his brother-in-law Compton Mackenzie.

Stone approached the BBC himself with the idea for a record program, which the corporation initially dismissed. Stone managed to convince them though and on 7 July 1927 he started playing records on air. His relaxed, conversational style was exceptional at a time when most of the BBC's presentation was extremely formal, and his programs became highly popular as a result. He wore a dinner jacket and tie when he presented.

In 1934 Stone joined the commercial station Radio Luxembourg (for 5,000 pounds a year) and was barred by the BBC in consequence. He wrote a column reviewing new popular records for the Sunday Referee newspaper and appeared in advertisements for Bush radio sets. In 1937, as "Uncle Chris", he presented the first daily children's program on commercial radio, Kiddies Quarter Hour on Radio Lyons. Stone later rejoined the BBC and caused a major row in 1941. On 11 November he wished King Victor Emmanuel of Italy a happy birthday on air, adding "I don't think any of us wish him anything but good, poor soul." This good wish towards the head of a state Britain was at war with at the time led to the sacking of the BBC's Senior Controller of Program and tighter government control over all broadcasts.

Stone was an avid record collector; in the mid-1930s he already owned over 12,000. When he turned 75 in 1957 the magazine Melody Maker praised his pioneering work: "Everyone who has written, produced or compered a gramophone program should salute the founder of his trade."

Sir Alan McNicoll


Vice Admiral Sir Alan Wedel Ramsay McNicoll was a senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy and a diplomat.

McNicoll was born in Melbourne, he entered the Royal Australian Naval College at the age of thirteen and graduated in 1926. Following training and staff appointments in Australia and the United Kingdom, he was attached to the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the Second World War. As torpedo officer of the 1st Submarine Flotilla in the Mediterranean theatre, McNicoll was decorated with the George Medal in 1941 for disarming enemy ordnance. He served aboard HMS King George V from 1942, sailing in support of several Arctic convoys and taking part in the Allied invasion of Sicily. McNicoll was posted for staff duties with the Admiralty from September 1943 and was involved in the planning of the Normandy landings. He returned to Australia in October 1944.

McNicoll was made executive officer of HMAS Hobart in September 1945. Advanced to captain in 1949, he successively commanded HMAS Shoalhaven and HMAS Warramunga before being transferred to the Navy Office in July 1950. In 1952, McNicoll chaired the planning committee for the British nuclear tests on the Montebello Islands, and was appointed commanding officer of HMAS Australia. He commanded the ship for two years before it was sold off for scrap, at which point he returned to London to attend the Imperial Defence College in 1955. He occupied staff positions in London and Canberra before being posted to the Naval Board as Chief of Personnel in 1960. This was followed by a term as Flag Officer Commanding HM Australian Fleet.

McNicoll's career culminated with his promotion to vice admiral and appointment as First Naval Member and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) in February 1965. As CNS, McNicoll had to cope with significant morale and recruitment issues occasioned by the February 1964 collision between HMAS Melbourne and Voyager and, furthermore, oversaw an extensive modernization of the Australian fleet. In 1966, he presided over the RAN contribution to the Vietnam War, and it was during his tenure that the Australian White Ensign was created. McNicoll retired from the RAN in 1968 and was appointed as the inaugural Australian Ambassador to Turkey. He served in the diplomatic post for five years, then retired to Canberra. McNicoll died in 1987 at the age of 79.

Sir Peter Phipps



Sir Peter Phipps served as Chief of Naval Staff and the first Chief of the New Zealand Defense Force.

Phipps began his military career in 1928 when he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as an ordinary seaman. He was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant in 1930 and as a lieutenant in 1934. In 1940, after the outbreak of war, he traveled to the United Kingdom where he was given his first command. This was the minesweeper HMS Bay which operated in the English Channel. Fifty aircraft attacked the convoy that Bay was helping escort and she was bombed. Phipps was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bringing his damaged ship home.

Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, he took command of HMNZS Scarba, one of four Isles class minesweeping trawlers purchased for New Zealand. They carried out convoy duties in route to Auckland where they arrived August 4, 1942. Phipps then became commanding officer of Moa, which, with her sister ship Kiwi, sank the Japanese submarine I-1 which was supporting Operation Ke during the Guadalcanal Campaign in the Solomon Islands. Both ships were patrolling at Guadalcanal and Kiwi's depth-charge attack brought the submarine to the surface. She attempted to escape but was rammed by Kiwi while Moa continued to illuminate with star shell. Moa pursued and pressed home the attack upon the submarine, which eventually ran aground on a reef. Phipps was awarded a Bar to his DSC and the United States Navy Cross for this action.

In April 1943, Phipps was wounded when Japanese aircraft sank Moa at Tulagi Harbour. The ship sustained a direct hit from a 500-pound bomb and sank within four minutes. Five ratings were killed and seven were seriously wounded. Phipps then became the Senior Officer of the 25th Minesweeping Flotilla in the Solomon’s. He represented the New Zealand Government at the surrender of the Japanese forces in Nauru and Ocean Island. After the war, he commanded the training base HMNZS Philomel, where in April 1947 he had to deal with a mutiny of sailors from the base and several ships, over low pay and poor working conditions. He then became the executive officer of the cruiser Bellona. Between 1953 and 1955, he went overseas and served in a senior position in the Admiralty. He then took command successively of the cruisers Bellona and Royalist. When Phipps went to take command of Royalist in 1955, diplomat Frank Corner found that Phipps agreed that the Royalist was completely unsuitable for New Zealand's requirements, and Phipps regarded her purchase as an unmitigated disaster.

Phipps’ later career was a series of firsts for a New Zealander – he was the first NZ naval officer appointed to the New Zealand Naval Board (1957), the first to reach flag rank, the first to be appointed to Chief of Naval Staff (1960) and the first Chief of Defense Staff (1963), following the establishment of the Ministry of Defense. Phipps was knighted for his services in the 1964 Birthday Honors. On his retirement in 1965, he was created vice-admiral. He died in a car crash on September 18, 1989.

08 May, 2018

Dr. Robert W. Woods


Robert Williams Wood was an American physicist and inventor.

Born in Concord, Massachusetts, Wood attended The Roxbury Latin School with the initial intent of becoming a priest. However, he decided to study optics instead when he witnessed a rare glowing aurora one night and believed the effect to be caused by "invisible rays". In his pursuit to find these "invisible rays", Wood studied and earned several degrees in physics from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago. From 1894 to 1896, he worked with Heinrich Rubens at the Berlin University.

Dr. Wood returned to the U.S.A., where he taught briefly at the University of Wisconsin and eventually became a full-time professor of "optical physics" at Johns Hopkins University from 1901 until his death. He worked closely with Alfred Lee Loomis at Tuxedo Park, New York. He wrote many articles on spectroscopy, phosphorescence and diffraction. He is best known for his work in ultraviolet light.

Another of his claims to fame was his debunking of N-rays in 1904. The French physicist Prosper-René Blondlot claimed to have discovered a new form of radiation like X-rays, which he named N-rays. Some physicists reported having successfully reproduced his experiments; others reported that they had failed. Visiting Blondlot's laboratory at the behest of the journal Nature, Wood surreptitiously removed an essential prism from Blondlot's apparatus during a demonstration. The effect did not vanish, showing that N-rays had always been self-deception on Blondlot's part.

Wood identified an area of very low ultraviolet albedo (reflectivity, that is most of the ultraviolet is absorbed) in the Aristarchus Plateau region of the Moon, one that he suggested was due to high sulfur content. The area continues to be called Wood's Spot. In 1909, Wood constructed the first practical liquid mirror astronomical telescope, by spinning mercury to form a paraboloidal shape, and investigated its benefits and limitations. Wood has been described as the "father of both infrared and ultraviolet photography." Though the discovery of electromagnetic radiation beyond the visible spectrum and the development of photographic emulsions capable of recording them predate Dr. Wood, he was the first to intentionally produce photographs with both infrared and ultraviolet radiation. In 1903 he developed a filter, Wood's glass, that was opaque to visible light but transparent to both ultraviolet and infrared, and is used in modern-day black lights. He used it for ultraviolet photography but also suggested its use for secret communication. He was also the first person to photograph ultraviolet fluorescence. He also developed an ultraviolet lamp, which is widely known as the Wood's lamp in medicine. The slightly surreal glowing appearance of foliage in infrared photographs is called the Wood effect.

Dr. Wood also authored nontechnical works. In 1915, Wood co-wrote a science fiction novel, The Man Who Rocked the Earth, along with Arthur Train. Its sequel, The Moon Maker, was published the next year. Wood also wrote and illustrated two books of children's verse, How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers (1907), and Animal Analogues (1908).

Wood also took part in the investigation of several crimes including the Wall Street bombing. Dr. Wood married Gertrude Hooper Ames in 1892 in San Francisco. She was the daughter of Pelham Warren and Augusta Hooper (Wood) Ames, and the granddaughter of William Northey Hooper and the Massachusetts Supreme Court justice Seth Ames. Dr. Wood died in Amityville, New York.

Frederic John Walker


Captain Frederic John Walker was a Royal Navy officer noted for his exploits during World War II.

Walker was born in Plymouth, the son of Frederic Murray and Lucy Selina (née Scriven) Walker. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1909 and was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges at Osborne and Dartmouth, where he excelled. First serving on the battleship Ajax as a midshipman, Walker as a sub-lieutenant went on to join the destroyers Mermaid and Sarpedon in 1916 and 1917 respectively. Following the end of the First World War, Walker joined the Queen Elizabeth-class battleship Valiant.

During the interwar period Walker partook in the field of antisubmarine warfare. He took a course at the newly founded antisubmarine warfare training school of HMS Osprey, on the Isle of Portland, which was established in 1924. Walker consequently became an expert in this type of warfare, and was appointed to a post specializing in this field, serving on many capital ships. In May 1933 he was promoted to commander and took charge of the World War I destroyer Shikari. In December 1933 Walker, took command of the Shoreham-class sloop Falmouth based on the China Station. In April 1937 Walker became the Experimental Commander at HMS Osprey.

When World War II began, in 1939, Walker's career seemed at an end. Still a commander, he had been ignored for promotion to captain and indeed had been scheduled for early retirement. He gained a reprieve, however, due to the commencement of war and in 1940 was appointed as Operations Staff Officer to Vice-Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay. Even so, Walker still had not been given a command, despite expertise in antisubmarine warfare that would no doubt be indispensable in the Battle of the Atlantic. During Walker's time in that role the Operation Dynamo evacuation took place from Dunkirk, in which the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was evacuated from France. The evacuation was a success with over 330,000 British and French troops being rescued and brought back to England, or to Brittany. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his work during this operation.

Walker received his own command in October 1941, taking control of the 36th Escort Group, commanding from the Bittern-class sloop Stork. The escort group comprised two sloops (including the Stork) and six corvettes and was based in Liverpool, the home of the Western Approaches Command. Initially his Group was primarily used to escort convoys to and from Gibraltar.

Walker's first chance to test his innovative methods against the U-boat menace came in December when his group escorted Convoy HG 76 (32 ships). During the journey five U-boats were sunk, four by Walker's group, including the U-574 which was depth-charged and rammed by Walker's own ship on 19 December. The Royal Navy's loss during the Battle for HG76 was one escort carrier, the Audacity, formerly the German vessel Hannover; one destroyer, the Stanley, and two merchant ships. This is sometimes described as the first true Allied convoy victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. He was given the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 6 January 1942, "For daring, skill and determination while escorting to this country a valuable Convoy in the face of relentless attacks from the Enemy, during which three of their Submarines were sunk and two aircraft destroyed by our forces". Walker's group succeeded in sinking at least three more U-boats during his tenure as commander of the 36th Group. He was awarded the first Bar to his DSO in July 1942.


During 1942, Walker left the 36th Group and became Captain (D) Liverpool, granting him some time to recuperate. He finally returned to a ship command when he became commander of the 2nd Support Group in 1943, consisting of six sloops. Walker led from Starling, a newly commissioned Black Swan-class sloop. The group was intended to act as reinforcement to convoys under attack, with the capacity to actively hunt and destroy U-boats, rather than be restricted to escorting convoys. Walker had suggested the innovative idea to the Commander-in-Chief Western Approaches Command, Sir Max Horton. The combination of an active hunting group and a charismatic, determined, and innovative antisubmarine specialist such as Walker proved to be a potent force. One eccentric aspect of his charismatic nature was the playing of the tune A Hunting We Will Go over the ship's Tannoy when returning to its base.

In June 1943 Walker's own ship Starling was responsible for the sinking of two U-boats. The first, U-202, was destroyed on 2 June by depth charges and gunfire, and the other, U-119, on 24 June by depth charges and ramming. Another U-boat, the U-449, was sunk by his group on the same day. One highly successful tactic employed by Walker was the creeping attack, in which two ships would work together to keep contact with a U–boat while attacking. A refinement of this was the barrage attack, in which three or more sloops in line to launch depth charges to saturate the area with depth charges in a manner similar to a rolling barrage by artillery in advance of an infantry attack. On 30 July, Walker's group encountered a group of three U-boats on the surface (two were vital type XIV replenishment boats known as "Milk Cows") while in the Bay of Biscay. He signaled the "General Chase" to his group and fired at them, causing damage that prevented them from diving. Two of the submarines, U-462, a Type XIV, and U-504, a Type IX/C40, were then sunk by Walker's group, and the second Type XIV, U-461, by an Australian Short Sunderland flying boat.


Upon his return to Liverpool, Walker was informed that his son, Timothy Walker, had been killed when the submarine HMS Parthian was lost in early August 1943 in the Mediterranean Sea. On 14 September 1943, Walker was appointed as a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) "for leadership and daring in command of H.M.S. Starling in successful actions against Enemy submarines in the Atlantic."

On 6 November 1943 Walker's group sank U-226 and U-842. In early 1944 Walker's group displayed its efficiency against U-boats by sinking six in one patrol. On 31 January 1944 Walker's group gained its first kill of the year when it sank the U-592. On 9 February his group sank U-762, U-238, and U-734 in one action, then sank U-424 on 11 February, and U-264 on 19 February. On 20 February 1944, one ship of Walker's group, the HMS Woodpecker, was torpedoed and sank seven days later while being towed home. All her crewmen were saved. They returned to their base at Liverpool to the thrilled jubilation of the city's inhabitants and the Admiralty. The First Lord of the Admiralty was present to greet Walker and his ships. Walker was promoted to captain and awarded a second bar to his DSO.

In March 1944, Walker's group provided the escort for the U.S. Navy light cruiser USS Milwaukee which was on its way to Russia as part of the Lend-Lease program. Walker's group sank two U-boats on the outward trip, and a third on the return trip. Walker's last duty was protecting the fleet from U-boats during the Normandy Landings, the immense Allied invasion of France. This he did successfully for two weeks; no U-boats managed to get past Walker and his vessels, and many U-boats were sunk or damaged in the process. During this concerted effort Walker's dedication to his tasks was tremendous; he took no respite from his duties, which ultimately contributed to his death. He was awarded the third bar on his DSO on 13 June 1944, and was again Mentioned in Dispatches on 20 June 1944.

Walker suffered a cerebral thrombosis on 7 July 1944, and he died two days later at the Naval Hospital at Seaforth, Merseyside, at the age of 48.

Ivan Mosjoukine


Ivan Ilyich Mozzhukhin, regularly billed as Ivan Mosjoukine, was a Russian silent film actor.

Ivan Mozzhukhin was born in Kondol, in the Saratov Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Penza Oblast in Russia), the youngest of four brothers. His mother Rachel Ivanovna Mozzhukhina (née Lastochkina) was the daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest, while his father Ilya Ivanovich Mozzhukhin came from peasants and served as an estate manager for the noble Obolensky family. He inherited this position from his own father — a serf whose children were granted freedom as a gratitude for his service.

While all three elder brothers finished seminary, Ivan was sent to the Penza gymnasium for boys and later studied law at the Moscow State University. In 1910, he left academic life to join a troupe of traveling actors from Kiev, with which he toured for a year, gaining experience and a reputation for dynamic stage presence. Upon returning to Moscow, he launched his screen career with the 1911 adaptation of Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata. He also starred in A House in Kolomna (1913, after Pushkin), Pyotr Chardynin directed drama Do You Remember? opposite the popular Russian ballerina Vera Karalli (1914), Nikolay Stavrogin (1915, after Dostoyevsky's The Devils aka The Possessed), The Queen of Spades (1916, after Pushkin) and other adaptations of Russian classics.

Mosjoukine's most lasting contribution to the theoretical concept of film as image is the legacy of his own face in recurring representation of illusory reactions seen in Lev Kuleshov's psychological montage experiment which demonstrated the Kuleshov Effect. In 1918, the first full year of the Russian Revolution, Kuleshov assembled his revolutionary illustration of the application of the principles of film editing out of footage from one of Mosjoukine's Tsarist-era films which had been left behind when he, along with his entire film production company, departed for the relative safety of Crimea in 1917.

At the end of 1919, Mosjoukine arrived in Paris and quickly established himself as one of the top stars of the French silent cinema, starring in one successful film after another. Handsome, tall, and possessing a powerful screen presence, he won a considerable following as a mysterious and exotic romantic figure.

The first film of his French career was also his final Russian film. L'Angoissante Aventure (The Harrowing Adventure) was a dramatized record of the difficult and dangerous journey of Russian actors, directors and other film artists as they made their way from Crimea into the chaos of Ottoman Turkey in the midst of the post-World War I fall of the Sultanate. The group was headed by the renowned director Yakov Protazanov and included Mosjoukine's frequent leading lady Natalya Lisenko (billed in France as Nathalie Lissenko), whom he married and later divorced. Their ultimate destination was Paris, which became the new capital for most of the exiled former aristocrats and other refugees escaping the civil war and Bolshevik terror gripping Russia. The film was completed and released in Paris in November 1920.


Mosjoukine's film stardom was assured and during the 1920s, his face with the trademark hypnotic stare appeared on covers of film magazines all over Europe. He wrote the screenplays for most of his starring vehicles and directed two of them, L'Enfant du carnaval (Child of the Carnival), released on 29 August 1921 and Le Brasier ardent (The Blazing Inferno), released on 2 November 1923. The leading lady in both films was the then-"Madame Mosjoukine", Nathalie Lissenko. Brasier, in particular, was highly praised for its innovative and inventive concepts, but ultimately proved too surreal and bizarre to become financially successful. Styled like a semi-comic Kafkaesque nightmare, the film has him playing a detective known only as "Z" hired by an older husband to follow his adventurous young wife. However, the plot was only the device which Mosjoukine and his assistant director Alexandre Volkoff used to experiment with the audience's perception of reality. Many of the scenes seem to be taking place on sets that are disconcertingly larger than normal and one particularly striking staging has the husband entering the detective agency to find a synchronized line of men, presumably detectives, all wearing tuxedos and gliding about in formation. Mosjoukine received praise for his enthusiastic acting and display of emotion.

According to popular myth, when Rudolph Valentino died on August 23, 1926, Hollywood producers began searching for another face or image that might capture some iota of that unique screen presence radiated by "The Great Lover". However, Mosjoukine was signed by Universal before Valentino's death, as the August 14, 1926 edition of Motion Picture News mentions Mosjoukine's role in Michel Strogoff as Universal had just announced that they were bringing the film to the American market. Universal's Laemmle was mentioned as having signed Mosjoukine to come to America that fall.  A few of the French productions which starred Mosjoukine were seen in large U.S. cities, where multitudes of cinemas regularly presented European films, but he was a generally unfamiliar persona to the large majority of American audiences. Universal's Carl Laemmle, who had employed Valentino as a supporting actor in two 1919-1920 films, found out that Mosjoukine was frequently described by the European press as the Russian Valentino.

However, as it turned out, Surrender, filmed in the summer of 1927, did not trust Mosjukine to carry the storyline. He was only the film's co-star, with the top billing and the central role going to Mary Philbin, a popular leading lady of the period who, eighteen months earlier, had the showy role of Christine, the focus of Lon Chaney's obsession and love in The Phantom of the Opera. The recent Russian Revolution was a popular film subject of the time, with the 1926 John Barrymore-Camilla Horn teaming in The Tempest and the Emil Jannings vehicle The Last Command, released three months after Surrender, being two examples of the genre. Since Laemmle's new star was a genuine survivor of the Revolution, it seemed only natural that the story would be set in that milieu.

Symptomatic of Mosjoukine's co-star status, he does not even appear in the first fifteen minutes of the film, which are occupied with the depiction of life in an Eastern European Jewish settlement on the eve of World War I. Eventually, at the centerpiece of the plot Mary Philbin, as the virginal daughter of the village rabbi, is confronted with the startling choice of willingly "surrendering" her maidenhood to Mosjoukine's aristocratic leader of the Cossack detachment sent to wipe out her village, or refusing and seeing him carry out his assignment. While this type of personality fitted into Valentino's past Son of the Sheik characterization of a dominant, forceful lover who initially takes women against their will, until they melt under the radiance of his sheer animal magnetism, it ran against Mosjoukine's European Casanova image as a fatalistically irresistible paramour to whom women flock and "surrender" without any hint of force or threat, but simply because of their inability to resist.

This basic misunderstanding of the dissimilarity between Valentino and Mosjoukine combined with journeyman direction by Edward Sloman and Mary Philbin's unresponsiveness and lack of chemistry with her leading man, consigned the film to a tepid reception by the critics and the public. Although moderately profitable, it was not the money-making hit that Laemmle expected. Mosjoukine received some good notices, but a number of critics doubted his suitability for American audiences. An even more ominous note, however, was sounded at the film's Broadway premiere on 10 October 1927. Another film, playing across the street, had its premiere four days earlier, on 6 October. The Jazz Singer was attracting much bigger audiences than Surrender and, as it was ushering in voice-on-film, would soon sound the death knell for Mosjoukine's career as a silent film star, as his heavy Russian accent eventually dealt a crippling blow to his hopes of continuing in talkies.

Ivan Mosjoukine died of tuberculosis in a Neuilly-sur-Seine clinic.

Stefan Zweig


Stefan Zweig was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer.

Zweig was born in Vienna, the son of Moritz Zweig (1845–1926), a wealthy Jewish textile manufacturer, and Ida Brettauer (1854–1938), a daughter of a Jewish banking family. He was related to the Czech writer Egon Hostovský, who described him as "a very distant relative"; some sources describe them as cousins.

Zweig studied philosophy at the University of Vienna and in 1904 earned a doctoral degree with a thesis on "The Philosophy of Hippolyte Taine". Religion did not play a central role in his education. "My mother and father were Jewish only through accident of birth," Zweig said later in an interview. Yet he did not renounce his Jewish faith and wrote repeatedly on Jews and Jewish themes, as in his story Buchmendel. Zweig had a warm relationship with Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, whom he met when Herzl was still literary editor of the Neue Freie Presse, then Vienna's main newspaper; Herzl accepted for publication some of Zweig's early essays. Zweig believed in internationalism and in Europeanism, as The World of Yesterday, his autobiography, makes clear. According to Amos Elon, Zweig called Herzl's book Der Judenstaat an "obtuse text, [a] piece of nonsense."

At the beginning of World War I, patriotic sentiment was widespread, and extended to many German and Austrian Jews: Zweig, as well as Martin Buber and Hermann Cohen, showed support. Zweig served in the Archives of the Ministry of War and adopted a pacifist stand like his friend Romain Rolland, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 1915. Zweig married Friderike Maria von Winternitz (born Burger) in 1920; they divorced in 1938. As Friderike Zweig she published a book on her former husband after his death. She later also published a picture book on Zweig. In the late summer of 1939, Zweig married his secretary Elisabet Charlotte "Lotte" Altmann at Bath, England. Zweig's secretary in Salzburg from November 1919 to March 1938 was Anna Meingast (13 May 1881, Vienna – 17 November 1953, Salzburg).


In 1934, following Hitler's rise to power in Germany, Zweig left Austria for England, living first in London, then from 1939 in Bath. Because of the swift advance of Hitler's troops westwards, Zweig and his second wife crossed the Atlantic to the United States, settling in 1940 in New York City; they lived for two months as guests of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, then they rented a house in Ossining, New York.

On 22 August 1940, they moved again to Petrópolis, a German-colonized mountain town 68 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro. Zweig, feeling increasingly depressed about the situation in Europe and the future for humanity, wrote in a letter to author Jules Romains, "My inner crisis consists in that I am not able to identify myself with the me of passport, the self of exile." On 23 February 1942, the Zweigs were found dead of a barbiturate overdose in their house in the city of Petrópolis, holding hands.

Robert Desnos


Robert Desnos was a French surrealist poet who played a key role in the Surrealist movement of his day.

Robert Desnos was born in Paris on July 4, 1900, the son of a licensed dealer in game and poultry at the Halles market. Another sources state Desnos was the son of a Parisian café owner. Desnos attended commercial college, and started work as a clerk. He also worked as an amanuensis for journalist Jean de Bonnefon. After that he worked as a literary columnist for the newspaper Paris-Soir.

The first poems by Desnos to appear in print were published in 1917 in La Tribune des Jeunes (Platform for Youth) and in 1919 in the avant-garde review Le Trait d'union (Hyphen), and the same year in the Dadaist magazine Littérature. In 1922 he published his first book, a collection of surrealistic aphorisms, with the title Rrose Sélavy (based upon the name (pseudonym) of the popular French artist Marcel Duchamp).

In 1919 he met the poet Benjamin Péret, who introduced him to the Paris Dada group and André Breton, with whom he soon became friends. While working as a literary columnist for Paris-Soir, Desnos was an active member of the Surrealist group and developed a particular talent for automatic writing. He, together with writers such as Louis Aragon and Paul Éluard, would form the literary vanguard of surrealism. André Breton included two photographs of Desnos sleeping in his surrealist novel Nadja. Although he was praised by Breton in his 1924 Manifeste du Surréalisme for being the movement's "prophet", Desnos disagreed with Surrealism's involvement in communist politics, which caused a rift between him and Breton. Desnos continued work as a columnist.

In 1926 he composed The Night of Loveless Nights, a lyric poem dealing with solitude curiously written in classic quatrains, which makes it more like Baudelaire than Breton. Desnos fell in love with Yvonne George, a singer whose obsessed fans made his love impossible. He wrote several poems for her, as well as the erotic surrealist novel La liberté ou l'amour! (1927). Critic Ray Keenoy describes La liberté ou l'amour! as "literary and lyrical in its outpourings of sexual delirium."

By 1929 Breton definitively condemned Desnos, who in turn joined Georges Bataille and Documents, as one of the authors to sign Un Cadavre (A cadaver) attacking "le bœuf Breton" (the ox Breton). He wrote articles on "Modern Imagery", "Avant-garde Cinema" (1929, issue 7), "Pygmalion and the Sphinx" (1930, issue 1), and Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet filmmaker, on his film titled The General Line (1930, issue 4).

His career in radio began in 1932 with a show dedicated to Fantômas. During that time, he became friends with Picasso, Hemingway, Artaud and John Dos Passos; published many critical reviews on jazz and cinema; and became increasingly involved in politics. He wrote for many periodicals, including Littérature, La Révolution surréaliste and Variétés. Besides his numerous collections of poems, he published three novels, Deuil pour deuil (1924), La Liberté ou l'amour! (1927) and Le vin est tiré (1943); a play, La Place de l'étoile (1928; revised 1944); and a film script, L'Étoile de mer (1928), which was directed by Man Ray that same year.

During World War II, Desnos was an active member of the French Résistance network Réseau AGIR, under the direction of Michel Hollard, often publishing under pseudonyms. For Réseau Agir, Desnos provided information collected during his job at the journal Aujourd'hui and made false identity papers, and was arrested by the Gestapo on February 22, 1944.  He was first deported to the German concentration camps of Auschwitz in occupied Poland, then Buchenwald, Flossenburg in Germany and finally to Terezín (Theresienstadt) in occupied Czechoslovakia in 1945.

Desnos died in "Malá pevnost", which was an inner part of Terezín used only for political prisoners, from typhoid, a month after the camp's liberation.

Mervyn LeRoy


Mervyn LeRoy was an American film director, film producer, author, and occasional actor.

LeRoy was born in San Francisco on October 15, 1900 to Jewish parents Edna (née Armer) and Harry LeRoy. His family was financially ruined by the 1906 earthquake that destroyed his father's import-export business. To make money, young Mervyn sold newspapers in front of the Alcazar Theater after his dad's death in 1910. From this newspaper sales location, he was given a bit part for a play. Through his winning a Charlie Chaplin impersonation contest, he moved into vaudeville then minor parts in silent movies.

LeRoy worked in costumes, processing labs and as a camera assistant until he became a gag writer and actor in silent films, including The Ten Commandments in 1923. LeRoy credits Ten Commandments director, Cecil B. DeMille, for inspiring him to become a director: "As the top director of the era, DeMille had been the magnet that had drawn me to his set as often as I could go."[5] Leroy also credits DeMille for teaching him the directing techniques required to make his own films.

His first directing job was in 1928's No Place to Go. When his movies made lots of money without costing too much, he became well received in the movie business. He directed two key films which launched Edward G. Robinson into major stardom, the Oscar-nominated critique of tabloid journalism Five Star Final (1931), and the classic gangster film Little Caesar (1931), which made his mark. From that point forward, LeRoy would be responsible for a diverse variety of films as a director and producer. LeRoy ended up working at Warner Bros.. In 1938 he was chosen as head of production at MGM, where he was responsible for the decision to make The Wizard of Oz.

In the 1950s, LeRoy directed such musicals as Lovely to Look At, Million Dollar Mermaid, Latin Lovers and Rose Marie. He moved to Warner Brothers, where he was responsible for such famous films as Mister Roberts, The Bad Seed, No Time for Sergeants, The FBI Story and Gypsy. He was nominated in 1943 for Best Director for Random Harvest, and in 1940 as the producer of The Wizard of Oz. In addition, he received an honorary Oscar in 1946 for The House I Live In, "for tolerance short subject", and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1976.

A total of eight movies Mervyn LeRoy directed or co-directed were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, one of the highest numbers among all directors. LeRoy married three times and had many relationships with Hollywood actresses. He was first married to Elizabeth Edna Murphy in 1927, which ended in divorce in 1933. During their separation, LeRoy dated Ginger Rogers, but they ended the relationship and stayed lifelong friends. In 1934, he married Doris Warner, the daughter of Warner Bros. founder, Harry Warner. The couple had one son, Warner LeRoy and one daughter, Linda LeRoy Janklow (married to Morton L. Janklow). His son, Warner LeRoy, became a restaurateur. The marriage ended in divorce in 1942. In 1946, he married Kathryn "Kitty" Priest Rand, a gentile who was previously married to Sidney M. Spiegel (the co-founder of Essaness Theatres and grandson of Joseph Spiegel); and restaurateur to Ernie Byfield). They remained married until his death. LeRoy also sold his Bel Air, Los Angeles home to Johnny Carson.

LeRoy died natural causes and heart issues in Beverly Hills, California at age 86.

Rouben Mamoulian


Rouben Zachary Mamoulian was an Armenian-American film and theatre director.

Mamoulian was born in Tbilisi, Georgia to an Armenian family. His mother Virginia was a director of the Armenian theater, and his father, Zachary Mamoulian, was a bank president. Mamoulian relocated to England and started directing plays in London in 1922. He was brought to America the next year by Vladimir Rosing to teach at the Eastman School of Music and was involved in directing opera and theatre.

In 1925, Mamoulian was head of the School of Drama, where Martha Graham was also working at the time. Among other performances, together they produced a short two-color film called The Flute of Krishna, featuring Eastman students. Mamoulian left Eastman shortly after and Graham chose to leave also, even though she was asked to stay on. In 1930, Mamoulian became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Child star Jackie Cooper stated in his autobiography that Rouben Mamoulian was his uncle, and this fact helped establish Cooper's early movie career.  Mamoulian began his Broadway director career with a production of DuBose Heyward's Porgy, which opened on October 10, 1927. He directed Wings Over Europe from late 1928 to 1929. He directed the revival of Porgy in 1929 along with George Gershwin's operatic treatment, Porgy and Bess, which opened on October 10, 1935. Mamoulian was also the first to stage such notable Broadway works as Oklahoma! (1943), Carousel (1945) and Lost in the Stars (1949).

He directed his first feature film in 1929, Applause, which was one of the earliest talkies. It was a landmark film owing to Mamoulian's innovative use of camera movement and sound, and these qualities were carried through to his other films released in the 1930s. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) benefits from having been made before the Production Code came into full force, and is regularly considered the best version of Robert Louis Stevenson's tale. Queen Christina (1933) was the last film Greta Garbo made with John Gilbert, and also benefits from being made before the Production Code came into full force. The musical film Love Me Tonight was released in 1932.

He directed the first three-strip Technicolor film, Becky Sharp (1935), based on Thackeray's Vanity Fair, as well as the 1937 musical High, Wide, and Handsome. His next two films earned him wide admiration, The Mark of Zorro (1940) and Blood and Sand (1941), both remakes of silent films. Blood and Sand, on bullfighting, was filmed in Technicolor, and used color schemes based on the work of Spanish artists such as Diego Velázquez and El Greco. His foray into screwball comedy genre in 1942 was a success with Rings on Her Fingers starring Henry Fonda and Gene Tierney. Mamoulian's last completed musical film was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's 1957 film version of the Cole Porter musical Silk Stockings. This had been one of Porter's less successful stage musicals and was based on the 1939 Greta Garbo classic Ninotchka. The film Silk Stockings starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, with Janis Paige and Peter Lorre in support.

Mamoulian's film directing career came to an end when he was fired from two consecutive films, Porgy and Bess (1959) and Cleopatra (1963). He had previously been fired as director of Laura (1944). After directing the highly successful original stage productions of Oklahoma! and Carousel, he worked on only a few other theatrical productions, such as St. Louis Woman, which introduced Pearl Bailey to Broadway audiences. He was personally recruited by Directors Guild of America (DGA) co-founder King Vidor in 1936 to help unionize fellow movie directors. Mamoulian's lifelong allegiance to the DGA, and more so his general unwillingness to compromise, contributed to his being targeted in Hollywood blacklisting of the 1950’s.

He died on December 4, 1987 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital of natural causes at the age of 90 in Woodland Hills, California.

Ferdynand Ossendowski


Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski was a Polish writer, explorer, university professor, and anti-Communist political activist. He is best known for his books about Lenin and the Russian Civil War in which he participated.

He was born on May 27, 1876, on his family's manor near Ludza in the Vitebsk Governorate (now Latvia), of Lipka Tatar descent. He studied at the famous gymnasium in Kamieniec Podolski, but he moved with his father, a renowned doctor, to Saint Petersburg, where he graduated from a school in Russian. Then he joined the mathematical-physical faculty of the local university, where he studied chemistry. As an assistant to professor Aleksander Zalewski, he traveled to many distant areas, including Siberia, the Caucasus and the Altay Mountains. During the summer, he was frequently enrolled as a ship's writer on the Odessa-Vladivostok line, a job that allowed him to visit many parts of Asia, including Japan, Sumatra, China, Malaya and Indonesia. For his description of his trip to Crimea and Constantinople, he received his first royalty. His record of a trip to India (Chmura nad Gangesem: A Cloud Over the Ganges) gained the prestigious Petersburg Society of Literature prize.

In 1899, after a students' riot in Saint Petersburg, Ossendowski was forced to leave Imperial Russia and move to Paris, where he continued his studies at the Sorbonne, his professors being Maria Curie-Skłodowska and Marcelin Berthelot. It is possible that he received a doctorate back in Russia, but no documents have survived. In 1901 he could return to Russia, where professor Zalewski invited him to the newly founded Institute of Technology of the Tomsk State University. There, he gave lectures on chemistry and physics. At the same time, he also gave lectures at the Agricultural Academy and published numerous scientific works on hydrology, geology, physical chemistry, geography and physics.

After the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905) Ossendowski moved to Harbin in Manchuria, where he founded a Central Technical Research Laboratory, a Russian-financed institution for development of the ore deposits in the area. At the same time, he headed the local branch of the Russian Geographic Society in Vladivostok. As such he made numerous trips to Korea, Sakhalin, Ussuri and the shores of the Bering Strait. In Manchuria, he also became one of the leaders of the considerable Polish diaspora and published his first novel in Polish, Noc (Night). He also got involved in the Main Revolutionary Committee, a leftist organization that tried to take power in Manchuria during the Revolution of 1905. After the failure of the revolution, Ossendowski organized a strike against the brutal repressions in Congress Poland for which he was arrested. A military tribunal sentenced him to death for conspiracy against the tsar, but his sentence was later commuted to several years' hard labor.

In 1907, he was released from prison with a so-called wolf ticket, which prevented him from finding a job or leaving Russia. At that time, he devoted himself to writing. His novel V ludskoi pyli (In Human Dust), in which he described his several years' stay in Russian prisons, gained him much popularity in Russia and was even described by Leo Tolstoy as one of his favorites. His popularity allowed him to return to St Petersburg in 1908. There he continued to write books and at the same time headed the Society of the Gold and Platinum Industry and several newspapers and journals, both in Russian and in Polish. After the outbreak of World War I, Ossendowski published several more books, including a science fiction novel, a propaganda novel on German spies in Russia and a brochure describing German and Austro-Hungarian war crimes.

After the outbreak of the February Revolution of 1917, Ossendowski moved yet again, to Siberia, this time to Omsk, where he started giving lectures at the local university. After the October Revolution and the outbreak of the Russian Civil War, he also got involved in the counterrevolutionary Russian government led by Supreme Governor Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak. He served at various posts, among others as an intelligence officer, an envoy to the intervention corps from the United States and an assistant to the Polish 5th Rifle Division of Maj. Walerian Czuma. In 1918 he was responsible for transfer of many tsarist and White Russian documents to the Entente, including proofs (many apparently forged) of German support (confirmed later from German archives) for Lenin and his Bolsheviks (so-called Sisson Documents).

After Kolchak's defeat in 1920, Ossendowski joined a group of Poles and White Russians trying to escape from communist-controlled Siberia to India through Mongolia, China and Tibet. After a journey of several thousand miles, the group reached Chinese-controlled Mongolia, only to be stopped there by the takeover of the country led by mysterious Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg. The Baron was a mystic who was fascinated by the beliefs and religions of the Far East such as Buddhism and Lamaism and "who believed himself to be a reincarnation of Kangchendzönga, the Mongolian god of war." Ungern-Sternberg's philosophy was an exceptionally muddled mixture of Russian nationalism with Chinese and Mongol beliefs. However, he also proved to be an exceptional military commander, and his forces grew rapidly.

Ossendowski joined the baron's army as a commanding officer of one of the self-defense troops. He also briefly became Ungern's political advisor and chief of intelligence. Little is known of his service at the latter post, which adds to Ossendowski's legend as a mysterious person. In late 1920, he was sent with a diplomatic mission to Japan and then the US, never to return to Mongolia. Some writers believe that Ossendowski was one of the people who hid the semi mythical treasures of the Bloody Baron.

After his arrival in New York City, Ossendowski started to work for the Polish diplomatic service and possibly as a spy. At the same time, in late 1921 he published his first book in English: Beasts, Men and Gods. The description of his travels during the Russian Civil War and the campaigns led by the Bloody Baron became a striking success and a bestseller. In 1923, it was translated into Polish and then into several other languages.

In 1922, Ossendowski returned to Poland and settled in Warsaw. Immediately upon his return, he started giving lectures at the Wolna Wszechnica Polska, Higher War School and School of Political Sciences at the Warsaw University. At the same time, he remained an advisor to the Polish government and an expert Sovietologist.

He continued to travel to different parts of the world, and after each journey he published a book or two. In the interwar period, he was considered the creator of a distinct genre called the traveling novel. With over 70 books published in Poland and translated almost 150 times into 20 other languages, Ossendowski was also the second most popular Polish author abroad, after Henryk Sienkiewicz. He repeated the success of his Beasts, Men and Gods with a book on Lenin in which he openly criticized Soviet communist methods and policies as well as the double face of the communist leaders. In Poland, three of his books were being filmed as World War II started.

After the Polish Defensive War of 1939 and the outbreak of World War II, Ossendowski remained in Warsaw, where he lived at 27 Grójecka Street. In 1942 he converted to Catholicism (previously being a Lutheran), and the following year, he joined the ranks of the underground National Party. He worked in the structures of the Polish Secret State and cooperated with the Government Delegate's Office in preparation of the underground education in Poland during World War II and postwar learning programs.

After the Warsaw Uprising, Ossendowski, now seriously ill, moved to the village of Żółwin, near the Warsaw suburb of Milanówek, where he died on January 3, 1945. He was buried the following day in the local cemetery in Milanówek.

Maurice Burrus


Maurice Jean Marie Burrus was an Alsatian tobacco magnate, politician and philatelist. Originally from Alsace but residing in Switzerland, he was a deputy in the French parliament during the 1930s. His stamp collection was considered one of the greatest ever assembled and included some of the world's rarest stamps.

Maurice Burrus was born in Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines on March 8, 1882 to a family of tobacco industrialists based in the Alsace area. The family moved to Switzerland after the French government created a monopoly on the manufacture of tobacco products under Napoleonic laws.

He was educated at Dole, in the Collège Stanislas de Paris and later in Hanover where he studied banking and learnt German before returning to Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines where he took over the running of the family tobacco factory. He also travelled to the United States, Canada, Mexico and Asia Minor.

During World War I his anti-German sentiment was displayed by refusing to supply the German armies with tobacco, an act that got him a prison sentence of eight months and exiled from Alsace where his property was seized and sold. For this he received the French Médaille de la Fidélité. He was also awarded the Croix de guerre and the Médaille des Proscrits d'Alsace (Exiles from Alsace medal). He died in Lausanne in 1959.

07 May, 2018

Howard Hawks


Howard Winchester Hawks was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era.

Hawks was a director whose career included comedies, dramas, gangster films, science fiction, film noir, and westerns. His most popular films include Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing from Another World (1951), and Rio Bravo (1959).

In 1942, Hawks was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for Sergeant York, and in 1975 he was awarded an Honorary Academy Award as "a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema."

George Tobias



George Tobias was an American film and television actor. He had character parts in several major films of Hollywood's Golden Age, but today he is probably best known for his role as Abner Kravitz on the TV sitcom Bewitched.

Tobias was born to a Jewish family in New York, he began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California. He then spent several years in theater groups before moving on to Broadway and, eventually, Hollywood. In 1939, he signed with Warner Brothers and was cast in supporting roles, many times along with James Cagney, in such movies as Cagney's Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), as well as with Gary Cooper in Sergeant York (1941) and Irving Berlin, Ronald Reagan, and George Murphy in This Is The Army (1943).

From 1959 to 1961, Tobias played Penrose in eight episodes of the ABC television series, Adventures in Paradise, starring Gardner McKay. From 1964 to 1971, he played Abner Kravitz, the long-suffering neighbor on the ABC sitcom Bewitched. Tobias often appeared in an uncredited role as a courtroom spectator on the CBS program Perry Mason, and he played Sidney Falconer in the episode titled "The Case of the Antic Angel" (1964).

Tobias never married and retired from acting in 1977 after reprising his role as Abner Kravitz in a guest appearance on the Bewitched sequel Tabitha.

On February 27, 1980, Tobias died of bladder cancer at the age of 78 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, Queens, New York City.

Raymond Forni


Raymond Forni was a French Socialist politician.

The son of an Italian immigrant from Piedmont, Forni was born in Belfort, in 1941. His father died when he was 11. At 17, he had to stop studying, and he started to work as an unskilled worker in Peugeot factories. He finally graduated from high school at 21 and started law studies in Strasbourg.

Member of the Socialist Party, his political career started in 1971 when he became municipal council. In 1973, he was elected as deputy of Territoire de Belfort département. He got reelected four times consecutively, until 2002.

He died in Paris on 5 January 2008, at the age of 66, of leukemia.

Leonard Woolf


Leonard Sidney Woolf was a British political theorist, author, publisher and civil servant, and husband of author Virginia Woolf.

Woolf was born in London, the third of ten children of Solomon Rees Sidney Woolf (known as Sidney Woolf), a barrister and Queen's Counsel, and Marie. His family was Jewish. After his father died in 1892 Woolf was sent to board at Arlington House School near Brighton, Sussex. From 1894 to 1899 he attended St Paul's School, and in 1899 he won a classical scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected to the Cambridge Apostles. Other members included Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, G. E. Moore and E. M. Forster. Thoby Stephen, Virginia Stephen's brother, was friendly with the Apostles, though not a member himself. Woolf was awarded his BA in 1902, but stayed there for another year to study for the Civil Service examinations held then.

In October 1904 Woolf moved to Ceylon to become a cadet in the Ceylon Civil Service, in Jaffna and later Kandy, and by August 1908 was named an assistant government agent in the Southern Province, where he administered the District of Hambantota. Woolf returned to England in May 1911 for a year's leave. Instead, however, he resigned in early 1912 and that same year married Virginia Stephen.

Leonard and Virginia Woolf lived at 17 The Green Richmond starting from October 1914. In early March 1915 the couple moved to nearby Hogarth House, Paradise Road. In 1919, the Woolfs purchased the Round House in Pipe Passage, Lewes. The same year they discovered Monk’s House in nearby Rodmell, which both she and Leonard favored because of its orchard and garden. She then bought Monk’s House and sold the Round House.

Together Leonard and Virginia Woolf became influential in the Bloomsbury Group, which also included various other former Apostles. In December 1917 Woolf became one of the co-founders of the 1917 Club, which met in Gerrard Street, Soho.

After marriage, Woolf turned his hand to writing and in 1913 published his first novel, The Village in the Jungle, which is based on his years in Sri Lanka. A series of books followed at roughly two-yearly intervals.

On the introduction of conscription in 1916, during the First World War, Woolf was rejected for military service on medical grounds, and turned to politics and sociology. He joined the Labour Party and the Fabian Society, and became a regular contributor to the New Statesman. In 1916 he wrote International Government, proposing an international agency to enforce world peace.

As his wife's mental health worsened, Woolf devoted much of his time to caring for her (he himself suffered from depression). In 1917 the Woolf’s bought a small hand-operated printing press and with it they founded the Hogarth Press. Their first project was a pamphlet, hand-printed and bound by themselves. Within ten years the Press had become a full-scale publishing house, issuing Virginia's novels, Leonard's tracts and, among other works, the first edition of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. Woolf continued as the main director of the Press until his death. His wife suffered from severe bouts of mental illness throughout her life, until her suicide by drowning in 1941. Later Leonard fell in love with a married artist, Trekkie Parsons.

In 1919 Woolf became editor of the International Review. He also edited the international section of the Contemporary Review from 1920 to 1922. He was literary editor of The Nation and Atheneum, generally referred to simply as The Nation, from 1923 to 1930), and joint founder and editor of The Political Quarterly from 1931 to 1959), and for a time he served as secretary of the Labour Party's advisory committees on international and colonial questions.

In 1960 Woolf revisited Sri Lanka and was surprised at the warmth of the welcome he received, and even the fact that he was still remembered. Woolf accepted an honorary doctorate from the then-new University of Sussex in 1964 and in 1965 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He declined the offer of Companion of Honour in the Queen's Birthday honours list in 1966.

Woolf died on 14 August 1969 from a stroke.

Dane Clark


Dane Clark was an American actor who was known for playing, as he labeled himself, "Joe Average."

Clark was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Jewish immigrants - Samuel, a sporting goods store owner, and his wife, Rose. Clark's date of birth is a matter of dispute among different sources.

He graduated from Cornell University and earned a law degree at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York. During the Great Depression, he worked as a boxer, baseball player, construction worker, and model.

Modeling brought him in contact with people in the arts. He gradually perceived them to be snobbish, with their talk of the "theater", and "I decided to give it a try myself, just to show them anyone could do it." He progressed from small Broadway parts to larger ones, eventually taking over the role of George from Wallace Ford in the 1937 production of ‘Of Mice and Men.’ Clark's first film was The Pride of the Yankees (1942). He had an uncredited bit in The Glass Key (1942) at Paramount.

Clark got his big break when he was signed by Warner Bros. in 1943. He worked alongside some of his era's biggest stars, often in war movies such as Action in the North Atlantic (1943), his breakthrough part, opposite Humphrey Bogart. According to Clark, Bogart gave him his stage name.

He was third billed in Destination Tokyo (1943) beneath Cary Grant and John Garfield, and in The Very Thought of You (1944) with Dennis Morgan and Eleanor Parker. He had one of the leads in Hollywood Canteen (1944), playing an actual role while most Warner’s stars made cameo appearances as themselves. Clark had the lead in the 1944 short film I Won't Play with Janis Paige; it received the 1945 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel). Clark supported Morgan in God Is My Co-Pilot (1945) and Garfield in Pride of the Marines (1945).

Clark supported Bette Davis and Glenn Ford in A Stolen Life (1946) and was promoted to top billing for Her Kind of Man (1946), a crime film. He followed it with That Way with Women (1947), Deep Valley (1947), and Embraceable You (1948). Republic Pictures borrowed him to play the lead for Frank Borzage in Moonrise (1948). At Warner Bros., he was in Whiplash (1948). Clark went to United Artists for Without Honor (1948), then back to Warner Bros. for Backfire (1950) and Barricade (1950). He travelled to England to make Highly Dangerous (1950) and France for Gunman in the Streets (1951). Back at Columbia he was in Never Trust a Gambler (1951). He acted in the United Artists Western Fort Defiance (1951). He went back to Britain for The Gambler and the Lady (1953), Murder by Proxy (1954) and Five Days (1955), all for Hammer Films. In the US, he was in Go Man Go (1954) with the Harlem Globetrotters and Toughest Man Alive (1955).

During the 1950s, he became one of a small group of actors (excluding the original 'founding' members brought in at the Studio's inception) awarded life membership in The Actors Studio.

Clark played Peter Chambers in the short-lived radio show Crime and Peter Chambers, a half-hour show that aired from April 6 to September 7, 1954. Clark first appeared on television in the late 1940s, and after the mid-1950s worked much more in that medium than in feature films. In the 1954-1955 season, he co-starred as the character Richard Adams, with Gary Merrill in the role of Jason Tyler, in the NBC crime drama Justice, about attorneys of the Legal Aid Society of New York.

In 1959, he reprised Humphrey Bogart's role as Slate in Bold Venture, a short-lived television series. He also guest starred on several television shows, including Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town, Appointment with Adventure, CBS's Rawhide in the episode "Incident of the Night Visitor", and The Twilight Zone, in the episode "The Prime Mover". In 1970, he guest-starred in an episode of The Silent Force and had a role in The McMasters (1970). He also played Lieutenant Tragg in the short-lived revival of the Perry Mason television series in 1973, and appeared in the 1976 miniseries Once an Eagle.

Clark died on September 11, 1998, of lung cancer at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

Irving Kolodin.


Irving Kolodin was an American music critic and music historian.

Irving Kolodin was born in New York City, New York. He wrote for the New York Sun from 1932 to 1950 and for the Saturday Review starting in 1947. He was best known for his popular Guide to Recorded Music. He also wrote program notes for the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera, and a 762-page "candid history" of the Met up to 1966. He was married to Irma (née Levy) Zeckendorf, former wife of real estate developer William Zeckendorf.

04 May, 2018

François Sureau


François Sureau is a French writer, lawyer and technocrat. He was born in the 14th arrondissement of Paris and educated at the École nationale d'administration (ENA). He is a co-founder and co-director of the French Review of Economics. He is also the founding president of the Association Pierre Claver which assists refugees and displaced persons who have arrived in France. He is also a member of the editorial board of the journal Commentary.

Sureau has won a number of prizes for his literary works. These include La Corruption du siècle, winner of the Prix Colette in 1988; L'Infortune, winner of the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française in 1990; Le Sphinx de Darwin, winner of the Prix Goncourt de la Nouvelle in 1997; and Les Alexandrins which won the Prix Méditerranée in 2003.

Léon Zitrone


Léon Zitrone was a Russian-born French journalist and television presenter.

Zitrone was born in Petrograd, Russia. He arrived in France with his family fleeing communism at the age of six. He graduated from the ESJ Paris. He began by training in scientific studies but his mastership of Russian, French, English and German gave him entrance in 1948 to the radio foreign broadcasting services of Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (RTF). In 1959, he joined the television activity of RTF. From 1961, he became news presenter, function he occupied for nearly 20 years, first until 1975, on the first French television channel (now TF1), then also on Antenne 2, the other public service channel. Jean-Pierre Elkabbach called him back in 1979. He then took charge of the news program during the week-end (his contract was established until 1 February 1981). He would come back for those news programs also during the Easter and Pentecost week-ends.

But Léon Zitrone's celebrity is due to the programs he presented or co-presented. He was host of the televised program Intervilles (French counterpart of England's It's a Knockout) with Guy Lux. He commented 6 times the Tour de France, and he is remembered for his prodigious memory for names of riders. He presented the Olympics for 8 times, commented the Eurovision Song Contest on 4 occasions and presented 16 Bastille Day military parades. Above all, he was the key-commenter for big events, such as weddings, burials or investitures of world's key figures, some thirty of them during the course of his career.

In 1978, following French singer Marie Myriam's victory the previous year, the Eurovision song contest took place in Paris. Léon Zitrone co-presented with Denise Fabre and made the presentation in English.

In 1984, Zitrone took a leading role in the movie American Dreamer.

He died on his 81st birthday, November 25, 1995, at the Val-de-Grâce hospital in Paris.

Stanislaw Cisek


Stanisław Cisek was a Polish sailor, engineer, platoon cadet officer of the Home Army.

Cisek was the first owner of the yacht Narcyz, where he sailed from Poland to Venezuela (1972-1974). For his achievement, he was awarded in 1974 in the Rejoice of the Year 1974 Competition " Głos Wybrzeża "

Pierre Nord


Pierre Nord, real name André Léon Brouillard, was a French writer, spy and resistance member.

Brouillard was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord. He participated in the First World War as a resistance fighter and in 1916 was arrested by the Germans at Saint-Quentin, Aisne, condemned to death and later pardoned.

He was educated at Saint-Cyr (1920-1922), Ecole de Guerre (Superior War School) (1932-1934), and Ecole libre des sciences politiques (Free School of Political Science). As an armoured troops' officer, he took part in the campaign against Rif rebels in Morocco and there earned the distinction of knight of the Légion d'honneur.

In 1939, Brouillard was appointed chief of intelligence of the 9th and 10th Armies. During the German invasion of 1940, he was again captured, escaped and became commander of one of the most active units of the French resistance. He ended the Second World War as a colonel and was awarded numerous military decorations.

Brouillard published his first espionage novel, Double crime sur la ligne Maginot (Double Crime on the Maginot Line) in 1936, under the pseudonym of Pierre Nord. The tense and complicated plot revolved around the hunt for a murderous German spy who operated in one of the forts in the Maginot Line. The spy, masquerading as a lieutenant in the French army, was neutralized by an ingenious trap set by the Deuxième Bureau' operative Captain Pierre Ardant. (Curiously, the chief protagonists of Nord's novels almost invariably bear the first name of Pierre). The Double crime was followed by Terre d'angoisse (Land of Anguish) 1937, which described the struggle between the German and French secret services during the First World War. The hero of the story, under the alias of Lieutenant Heim (portrayed by actor Gabriel Gabrio in the 1939 film adaptation) penetrated the Kaiser's army.

In 1946, Brouillard left military service to take up writing full-time. As Pierre Nord, he became a prolific and popular author of spy fiction. His novels are characterized by realistic and intricate plots skillfully woven into both Cold War and Second World War settings. Many feature Colonel Dubois, the astute, veteran chief of French counter-espionage.

Sixième colonne (Sixth Column) 1955, deals with the ostensive defection to the East of a French bacteriologist and the search for him carried out by his brother, a lieutenant colonel in the medical service, Pierre Rocher. The threat of biological warfare is again addressed in Espionnage à l'italienne (Espionage a la Italian) 1963, where a French discoverer of a deadly bacillus disappears in Italy and is sought by the French, American and Russian intelligence services. In Pas de scandale a l'ONU (No Scandal at the UN) 1962, the son of a murdered French diplomat, trying to avenge the death of his father who worked for Colonel Dubois, stumbles upon a conspiracy against world peace orchestrated by some third world countries. In Le Kawass d'Ankara (The Kawass from Ankara) 1967, the Allied secret services in 1944 dispatched an agent, Pierre Frontin, to Turkey in a desperate effort to discredit vital information that fell into German hands. Le 13e suicidé (The Thirteenth Who Committed Suicide) 1971, features a high-ranking Russian defector who reveals that many leading figures in the West German intelligence service are in fact Soviet agents. When several of them take their own lives, Colonel Dubois begins to question the Russian's revelations. This novel was adapted into a film Le Serpent (Night Flight from Moscow) 1973 starring Yul Brynner, Henry Fonda and Dirk Bogarde. Le canal de las Americas (The Canal of the Americas, 1973) is a political intrigue set in the fictitious Latin American republic of Costaraguay. Altogether Nord authored nearly eighty novels.

He also wrote non-fiction. Between 1946 and 1949, Nord published a three-volume account of Free French intelligence actions during the Second World War under the title Mes Camarades sont morts (My Comrades are Dead), it won the Grand Prix Vérité. L'intoxication (The Deception), an analysis of the clandestine war of secret services, appeared in 1971.

In 1957, Nord moved from France to the principality of Monaco, where he lived until his death.

Bob Boothby


Robert John Graham Boothby, Baron Boothby, KBE, often known as Bob Boothby, was a British Conservative politician.

The only son of Sir Robert Tuite Boothby, KBE, of Edinburgh and a cousin of Rosalind Grant, mother of the broadcaster Sir Ludovic Kennedy, Boothby was educated at St Aubyns School, Eton College, and Magdalen College, Oxford. Before going up to Oxford, near the end of the First World War, he trained as an officer and was commissioned into the Brigade of Guards, but was too young to see active service. After Oxford he became a partner in a firm of stockbrokers.

He was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate for Orkney and Shetland in 1923 and was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Aberdeen and Kincardine East in 1924. He held the seat until its abolition in 1950, when he was elected for its successor constituency of East Aberdeenshire. Re-elected a final time in 1955, he gave up the seat in 1958 when he was raised to the peerage, triggering a by-election.

He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer Winston Churchill from 1926 to 1929. He helped launch the Popular Front in December 1936. He held junior ministerial office as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food in 1940–41. He was later forced to resign his post and go to the back benches for not declaring an interest when asking a parliamentary question. During the Second World War he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and served as a junior staff officer with Bomber Command, and later as a liaison officer with the Free French Forces, retiring with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. In 1950 he received the Legion of Honour for his latter services.

In 1954 (echoing words he had said in 1934) he complained that for thirty years he had been advocating 'a constructive policy on broad lines' but that this had not been taken up: 'The doctrine of infallibility has always applied to the Treasury and the Bank of England'. Boothby opposed free trade in food stuffs, and claimed that such a policy would invalidate the Agriculture Act 1947 and ruin British farmers. This economic liberalism of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rab Butler, led to Boothby complaining that 'The Tory Party have in fact become the Liberal Party' and cited what the leader of the Liberal Party (Clement Davies) had said to him about Butler: 'Sir Robert Peel has come again.' In response Davies claimed that Boothby 'has been sitting on the wrong side of the House for many years. Undoubtedly, he said tonight that he is the planner of planners. I do not believe in that kind of planning. The hon. Member seems to know better than the ordinary person what is good for the ordinary person, what he ought to buy, where he ought to buy it, where he ought to manufacture and everything else of that kind. There is the true Socialist'.

Boothby was a British delegate to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1949 until 1957 and advocated the United Kingdom's entry into the European Economic Community, which later evolved into the European Union. He was a prominent commentator on public affairs on radio and television, often taking part in the long-running BBC radio program Any Questions. He also advocated the virtues of herring as a food.

He was Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs, 1952–56; Honorary President of the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture, 1934, Rector of the University of St Andrews, 1958–61; Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, 1961–63, and President, Anglo-Israel Association, 1962–75. He was awarded an Honorary LLD by St Andrews, 1959 and was made an Honorary Burgess of the Burghs of Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Turriff and Rosehearty. He was appointed an Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1950, a KBE in 1953.

Boothby was raised to the peerage as a life peer with the title Baron Boothby, of Buchan and Rattray Head in the County of Aberdeen, on 22 August 1958.

There is a blue plaque on his house in Eaton Square, London.

Charles A. Wedemeyer


Charles A. Wedemeyer was a pioneer in the field of independent and distance learning. He challenged university administrators to expand access and opportunity to autonomous learners.

Claude Lefort


Claude Lefort was a French philosopher and activist.

He was politically active by 1942 under the influence of his tutor, the phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty. By 1943 he was organizing a faction of the Trotskyist Parti Communiste Internationaliste at the Lycée Henri-IV in Paris.

Lefort was impressed by Cornelius Castoriadis when he first met him. From 1946 he collaborated with him in the Chaulieu–Montal Tendency, so called from their pseudonyms Pierre Chaulieu (Castoriadis) and Claude Montal (Lefort). They published On the Regime and Against the Defence of the USSR, a critique of both the Soviet Union and its Trotskyist supporters. They suggested that the USSR was dominated by a social layer of bureaucrats, and that it consisted of a new kind of society as aggressive as Western European societies. By 1948, having tried to persuade other Trotskyists of their viewpoint, they broke away with about a dozen others and founded the libertarian socialist group Socialisme ou Barbarie. Lefort's text L'Expérience prolétarienne was important in shifting the group's focus towards forms of self-organisation.

For a time Lefort wrote for both the journal Socialisme ou Barbarie and for Les Temps Modernes. His involvement in the latter journal ended after a published debate during 1952–4 over Jean-Paul Sartre's article The Communists and Peace. Lefort was for a long time uncomfortable with Socialisme ou Barbarie's "organisationalist" tendencies. In 1958 he, Henri Simon and others left and formed Informations et Liaison Ouvrières.

In his academic career, Lefort taught at the University of São Paulo, at the Sorbonne and at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, being affiliated to the Centre de recherches politiques Raymond Aron. He wrote on the early political writers Niccolò Machiavelli and Étienne de La Boétie and explored "the Totalitarian enterprise" in its "denial of social division... [and] of the difference between the order of power, the order of law and the order of knowledge".

Claude Darget


Claude Darget, was a journalist and presenter of French television.


Claude Darget was born Christian Savarit on January 26, 1910 in the 5th arrondissement of Paris.
His parents were journalist Celestin-Maurice Savarit and France Darget, creator of the theater company Le Coryphée, both poets, whose works were crowned by the French Academy.

Claude Darget started before the war at the Paris Post. When the Germans asked him to resume his post during the war, he refused, being in the Resistance. He providef comments on film news, for example on May 22, 1942 2 and in 1943 short film for Mother's Day Maternity Secretariat to the family with Gilberte Genia.

He was known for his personal, smiling or acidic comments according to the television news that he presented from 1954 to 1968. Philippe Bouvard describes him as "a consumer advocate for information."

The role of Claude Darget as well as the other presenters of the news program faded when Alain Peyrefitte was appointed Minister of Information in 1962, declaring to Leon Zitrone that henceforth, "the journalist should fade before the information." Darget was then confined to two programs: one of philately, which he was a connoisseur, the other he animated from 1952 to 1968 with Frederic Rossif named La Vie des animaux whose comments were just as sharp, but also very poetic.

In May 1968, ORTF journalists went on strike, protesting against state pressure on their freedom of expression. President Charles de Gaulle considered the act as a betrayal at a time when the country was going through a serious crisis and they were all dismissed on July 31, 1968. Claude Darget had never been compensated for this dismissal both abusive and political. He then deals only with his philatelic activities including Figaro.

Philippe Bouvard later found Claude Darget to interview him on television. When he asked: "What did you do when you left the television? Darget answered him, philosophically and with his customary impertinence which is close to that of Bouvard: "My faith, I did what you would do if tomorrow you were thrown out of doors." Bouvard obviously appreciated this trait of spirit worthy of the greatest years of his friend.

Claude Darget also participated in the animation of the mid-day show on Europe 1 "32 million for an answer more" in the 1970s, before being replaced by Pierre Bellemarre.

Claude Darget died on March 26 , 1992.

Peter Hasen


Peter Franklin Hansen was an American actor, best known for his role as a lawyer Lee Baldwin, on the soap opera General Hospital, playing the role from 1965 to 1976, 1977 to 1986, briefly in 1990, and again from 1992 to 2004. In 1989, he appeared in the movie The War of the Roses with Danny DeVito, Kathleen Turner, and Michael Douglas.

Hansen was born on December 5, 1921 in Oakland, California. His family moved to Detroit, Michigan. Hansen served in World War II in the United States Marine Corps and flew combat in the South Pacific. He flew F4U Corsairs and participated in the invasion of Peleliu in September 1944. In 1950, after he left the Marines, Hansen signed a contract with Paramount Pictures and became an actor.

Career
Hansen has appeared in more than 100 films, television series and made-for-television movies. His early acting roles was at the famed Pasadena Playhouse. Hansen was a guest star on Reed Hadley's CBS crime drama, The Public Defender, and the television adaptation of Gertrude Berg's comedy The Goldbergs. In addition to his work on General Hospital, he notably co-starred in 1963 on the NBC soap opera Ben Jerrod. He also appeared on The Golden Girls in 1985 (Season 1, Episode 5) as Dr. Elliott Clayton, a casanova who makes a pass at Blanche while dating Dorothy. In 1988, he starred in an episode of Cheers ("And God Created Woodman"; Season 6, Episode 14), as Daniel T. Collier, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Lillian, the company which owns Cheers. Other notable appearances include work on Broken Arrow, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Maverick, Sea Hunt, Petticoat Junction, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., How The West Was Won, The Adventures of Jim Bowie, Magnum, P.I., L.A. Law, Night Court, and Growing Pains.

Hansen had a major role in the 1950 Western film Branded with Alan Ladd, the 1951 science fiction film When Worlds Collide, and the 1952 Western film The Savage with Charlton Heston. In the 1960s, He made commercials for Chrysler products, mostly Plymouths, on shows hosted by Lawrence Welk, Steve Allen, and Garry Moore. In 1961, Hansen was a news anchor at the Los Angeles based TV station KCOP-TV.

In 1997, Hansen began playing the character on the sister show Port Charles. The early years of Port Charles saw the Baldwins as the core family, focusing on Lee's son, Scotty, and granddaughter, Karen. After their storyline took them back to "GH", Peter made occasional appearances on both shows, last appearing in 2004. Although he retired from acting afterwards, he did appear at the off-screen 50th Anniversary party in 2013 along with former on-screen wife Susan Brown.

Hansen met his future wife, Florence Elizabeth (née Moe), while in high school and married her in 1943. Together, they had two children, Peter and Gretchen, had three grandchildren: Allison, Erik and Jamal. Betty died in 1993. He then shared 24 years as companion to Barbara Wenzel.

Hansen resided in Tarzana, California, with his family, and he enjoyed flying, owning his own Cessna for decades, spent many vacations in the Sierra Nevada high country. He led a devoted spiritual life at St. Nicholas of Myra Episcopal Church, in Encino, California. Hansen died on April 9, 2017, at his home in Tarzana, California at the age of 95.