13 December, 2018

Bengt Berg



Bengt Magnus Kristoffer Berg was a Swedish ornithologist, zoologist, wildlife photographer, and writer.

Bengt Berg was one of the world’s first nature filmographers. He was one of the very first nature photographers and filmographers and one of the very top in the world of his time. He started photographing at around 1910. At the Victoria theatre in Berlin, the biggest "cinematograph theatre" at the time, he would explain to the audience from a speaker’s chair during his soundless films. During one consecutive period of four months there was full house (2600 people each show) twice a day every day. He was also the author of almost 30 books translated into 16 languages. His books were full of wildlife photographs and questioning, humorous stories from Sweden, Africa, India, Bhutan and the Himalayas. He was a vivid debater of various subjects to do with birds, flora, fauna in general. More than often his booming voice or pen would declare that man was taking far too greedy or indeed urban view and place in nature. Bengt Berg was many things beside a photographer and a writer. He was also a hunter and a believer in a natural life as a being amongst other animals. But first and foremost, his love was birds and in his writing, he was never far from words declaring his passion for the winged creatures surrounding us all: Thanks to him the sea eagle, the graylag goose, the golden eagle and the mute swan of Sweden were saved. He was the first to film the shoebill stork in South Sudan (early 1920s) Also in the 20s he followed the common cranes from Europe to find out the southernmost point they went to in Africa. 1930 He photographed the bearded vulture in the Himalayas, from a balloon basket fastened to a very long rope. Here he (and sometimes his wife) hung precariously and at great heights to get clear pictures of the birds, inside their caves on the cliff walls. But it was not only birds: At home in Sweden he was deeply involved in fencing private land to protect and understand more about the red deer, and his travels across the globe also turned him towards filming, photographing and writing of mammals like the elephants of Africa, the tigers and rhinoceros of India. When he came home from his filming of the shoebill stork in South Sudan he also had in his trunks the longest piece of film so far taken of the African elephant, and through his book of the Indian rhino in 1932 he brought the world to attention that the Chinese were killing them off at great speed in their demand for rhino horn. Dr. Bengt Berg looked with a very sober, albeit furious, gaze at man’s one moment thoughtlessness in nature and next moment unrealistic approach to be a human animal amongst other animals. Some thought him too loudly critical of man and claimed that he loved other kinds more than his own. "Do not judge me on my person but on the work, I have done here" were words he wrote not long before he died. 31 July 1967, 82 years old, he died from a stroke while swimming in the archipelago at his estate at Rosberg, Blekinge, Sweden.

He is best remembered for his many travel books, his naturalist photographs and movies, taken on several expeditions around the world, including Europe, Africa and Asia.

11 December, 2018

Michael Ende


Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende was a German writer of fantasy and children's fiction. He is best known for his epic fantasy The Neverending Story; other famous works include Momo and Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver. His works have been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 35 million copies, and adapted as motion pictures, stage plays, operas and audio books. Ende is one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children's fiction.

10 December, 2018

Sydney Chaplin



Sydney John Chaplin was an English actor. He was the elder half-brother of Sir Charlie Chaplin and served as his business manager.


Chaplin was born to 19-year-old Hannah Hill in London. Hannah claimed Sydney's father was a man named Sydney Hawkes, but his father's identity was never verified. The Chaplin surname was adopted following his mother's marriage to Charles Chaplin, Sr., a year after his birth.

While Syd and brother Charlie were in the Cuckoo Schools in Hanwell following his mother's mental collapse, Syd was placed in the program designed to train young boys to become seamen, on the Exmouth training ship docked at Grays, Essex. He followed this training period with several years working on ships, receiving high marks from all of his employers. But his ambition was to get into the entertainment business and he left his final voyage with that in mind.

In 1905 Charlie and Sydney worked briefly together in one of their first stage appearances, Sherlock Holmes. Syd was briefly cast as a villain in that play. In 1906 however, he landed a contract with Fred Karno, of Karno's London Comedians and was to fight hard to bring Charlie into the company two years later. Charlie never achieved the sort of fame Syd did as a principal comedian for that company, but that was to be the only time that Syd was able to outdo his brother—at least in front of an audience.

After Charlie achieved worldwide fame in the 1910s, the brothers discovered they had another half-brother through their mother, Wheeler Dryden, who had been removed from his mother's care as an infant and brought up abroad by his father. Wheeler was also an actor, and the brothers reunited in Hollywood in 1918, occasionally working together at Chaplin's studio through to the 1950s.


As Charlie was negotiating his Keystone contract, he suggested Sydney be asked to join the company, and Syd and his wife Minnie Chaplin arrived in California in October 1914. Syd made a few comedies there, including the "Gussle" comedies, and the comedy short A Submarine Pirate in 1915, which, second to Tillie's Punctured Romance, was the most financially successful comedy Keystone ever made.

Following this success, Sydney decided to leave the screen to negotiate Charlie a better contract. After getting him a $500,000 contract with Mutual on 27 February 1916, he got him his first million dollar ($1.25 million) contract on 17 June 1917 with First National. Soon he was handling the majority of Charlie's business affairs, including a failed sheet music business and a successful merchandising one, in addition to further contract negotiation. He also appeared in a few films during the First National era, such as Pay Day and The Pilgrim. Sydney achieved his own million-dollar contract from Famous Players-Lasky in 1919, but a series of problems resulted in only one failed film, King, Queen, Joker (1921), disappearing from the screen once again.

Later films include The Perfect Flapper (1924) with Colleen Moore, A Christie Comedy, Charley's Aunt (1925) and five features for Warner Bros. Pictures, including The Man on the Box (1925), Oh, What a Nurse! (1926), The Missing Link (1927), The Fortune Hunter (1927), and The Better 'Ole (1926). The last is perhaps his best-known film today because of his characterization of cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather's famous World War I character, Old Bill, and the fact that it was the second Warner Bros. film to have a Vitaphone soundtrack. It is also believed by many to have the first spoken word of dialogue, "coffee", although there are those who disagree.

Sydney's first film for British International Pictures (BIP), A Little Bit of Fluff (1928), proved to be his final film. In 1929, just as he was to begin work on a second film for the studio, Mumming Birds, he was accused of biting off the nipple of actress Molly Wright in a sexual assault. BIP settled out of court, conceding the truth of Wright's claims. Following the scandal, he left England, leaving a string of unpaid tax demands and by 1930 he was declared bankrupt.

In addition to his importance in launching and promoting brother Charlie's career over the years, perhaps Chaplin's most important contribution to history is in the field of aviation. In May 1919, he, along with pilot Emery Rogers, formulated the first privately owned domestic American airline, the Syd Chaplin Airline Company, based in Santa Monica, California. Even though the corporation lasted only a year, in that time it accumulated many "firsts." Syd and partners had the first ever aeroplane showroom for their Curtiss aeroplanes. Emery Rogers conducted the first roundtrip Los Angeles to San Francisco flight in one 24-hour period. Charlie Chaplin took his first-ever aeroplane flight in one of Syd's planes, as did many other notable personages of the period. Chaplin got out of the aviation business right after legislation began to pass regarding pilot licensing and the taxation of planes and flights.

Chaplin married twice and had no children. His first wife, Minnie, died in France in September 1936 following surgery for breast cancer. After World War II, Sydney lived most of his final years in Europe. His second wife, Henriette (called Gypsy) survived him. After a long illness, he died one month after his 80th birthday, on 16 April 1965, in Nice, France. Chaplin is buried beside his wife Gypsy in Clarens-Montreux Cemetery, near Vevey.

Bill Bowes



William Eric Bowes was an English professional cricketer active from 1929 to 1947 who played in 372 first-class matches as a right arm fast bowler and a right-handed tail end batsman. He took 1,639 wickets with a best performance of nine for 121 and completed ten wickets in a match 27 times. He scored 1,531 runs with a highest score of 43* and is one of very few major players whose career total of wickets taken exceeded his career total of runs scored. He did not rate himself as a fielder but he nevertheless held 138 catches.

Bowes played for Yorkshire and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). He was a member of the ground staff at MCC for ten seasons and they had priority of selection, which meant he played against Yorkshire for them and he did not play against MCC until 1938. He made fifteen appearances for England in Test cricket and took part in the 1932–33 Bodyline series. He took 68 Test wickets at the creditable average of 22.33 with a best performance of six for 33. Bowes represented Yorkshire in thirteen County Championship seasons, his career being interrupted by the Second World War, and the team won the championship eight times in that period, largely due to their strong attack which was led by Hedley Verity and himself.

During the war, Bowes was commissioned in the British Army as a gunnery officer and served in North Africa until he was captured, along with over 30,000 other Allied troops, after the fall of Tobruk in June 1942. He spent three years in Italian and German prisoner-of-war camps and lost over four stone in weight. He continued playing for two seasons after the war but, weakened by his experiences, could only bowl at medium pace. After he retired from playing, he became a coach with Yorkshire and worked for The Yorkshire Post as a cricket writer. He was born in Elland, West Yorkshire, and died in Otley, West Yorkshire, aged 79.

07 December, 2018

Charles C. Ritz


Charles C. Ritz was a French hotelier and fly-fishing specialist.

Charles Ritz was born on August 1, 1891 and was the first of two sons born to Swiss hotelier César Ritz and Marie-Louise Beck, whose family also owned and ran a hotel in Menton. He did not know his itinerant father well, and César died when Charles was 27 years old.

Charles Ritz emigrated to the United States in 1916 where he became a soldier in the US Army. When World War I ended, Ritz returned to the US, and soon spent considerable time mastering the art of fly-fishing in the American West. He married Elisabeth Pierce.

Ritz returned to France in the 1930s. His experience with fly fishing made him one of the foremost specialists on the subject. Ernest Hemingway called him, "One of the finest fly fisherman I know." Ritz wrote a book, A Fly Fisher's Life, which has been read by anglers around the world. It has been regarded as one of the landmarks of fly fishing literature. He invented the parabolic fly-rod, a term coined by Everett Garrison, a famous bamboo fly rod maker. Fly rods of this type were commercially produced by Paul H. Young, Abu Garcia, Pezon et Michel, Jim Payne and Paul H. Young among others. He was a publicist for the High speed - high line style of fly casting (HSHL). He founded the "Fario Club,” which was the most select fishing club in the world during the latter part of the
twentieth century.

Charles Ritz spent several years assisting his mother to manage the Ritz Hotel, assumed presidency of the empire in 1953, when his mother Marie-Louise retires. Marie-Louise returns to her husband's village (Niederwald) during the summer's and sets up The Ritz Foundation specifically for Niederwald's youth. The Foundation pays for scholarships and apprenticeship programs, Marie-Louis later passes away in 1961. He attempted to introduce his progressive ideas when he opened le bar Vendôme and the l'Espadon restaurant but found himself hampered by the board of directors. His father died in 1918.

Ritz remarried in 1971 and retired from the hotel presidency in 1976, three months before his death.
He is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery alongside his first wife.

Arnold Gingrich


Arnold W. Gingrich, co-founder, editor and publisher of Esquire Magazine.

Gingrich created Esquire in 1933 and remained its editor until 1945. He returned as publisher in 1952, serving in this role until his death in 1976. For several years he left the post of editor vacant while several young editors competed for it. The two most serious contenders were Harold Hayes and Clay Felker. Hayes won, and Felker went on to found New York magazine. During the Hayes-Gingrich era, Esquire played a leading role in launching the New Journalism, publishing writers like Tom Wolfe and fellow fraternity brother, Gay Talese.

Gingrich was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of Mennonite parents in 1903. He attended the University of Michigan where he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, and was noted as a member of the class of 1925. Gingrich brought numerous skills and interests to bear in the formation of Esquire magazine, notably his skill in editing, identification of talent and in publishing. His partner, David Smart led the business side of the magazine with Henry Jackson responsible for the fashion section, making up a more substantial portion of the magazine in its first fifteen years. Over his four-decade career, Gingrich published such authors as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, John Dos Passes, Garry Wills, Truman Capote, and Norman Mailer. He was also one of the few magazine editors to publish F. Scott Fitzgerald regularly in the late 1930s, including Fitzgerald's The Pat Hobby Stories. Gingrich also published stories by Jack Woodford, whom he befriended when they worked together at an advertising agency in the late 1920s. He wrote the introduction to Woodford's famous book on writing and publishing, Trial and Error.

The magazine’s name Esquire was inspired by a letter from Gingrich's friend Robert Klark Graham, facetiously addressing him as "Arnold Gingrich, Esquire." The magazine he created set the template for future men's magazines of the mid-century period; for example, Playboy, a variation, essentially Esquire with nude photographs (Esquire had famously published a series of "Varga Girl" paintings and other "cheesecake" imagery since its founding). Similar periodicals include GQ (originally Gentlemen's Quarterly), Field & Stream, Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. Further afield, even The Atlantic and other regional and national publications exhibit styling and content first evidenced in the pages of Esquire. Indeed, Esquire was one of the forerunners of this genre, blending aspects of traditional, if upper-crust masculine pastimes such as armchair discussions of Ivy League pedigree, East Coast fraternalism, and literary interest with "the sporting life," such as horses and angling, fashion, love of tobacco and whiskey, and admiration for the feminine. More recently Maxim has continued this tradition with a more edgy appeal to Gen-Xers and millennials.

His autobiography, Toys of A Lifetime, with illustrations by Leslie Saalburg, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1966. It has long been out of print. In it, Gingrich recounts his experience with cars (he owned several notable Bentleys), including a classic R-series and S-series "Countryman" (obtained through the late J.S. Inskip in Manhattan), as well as an early Volkswagen. Other interests include transatlantic liners (notably the Normandie), French hotels, Dunhill pipes and Balkan Sobranie tobacco, clothes and all manner of other possessions and accommodations.

Gingrich was an accomplished fly fisherman, writing several books on the subject and lifestyle of the gentleman angler.

Gingrich was also an accomplished violinist. He would arrive at his office hours early to practice before the staff arrived, participated in amateur chamber music ensembles, and owned several highly prized instruments. He published a musical memoir titled "A Thousand Mornings of Music: The Journal of an Obsession with the Violin."

He died in 1976 at his home in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Frank Woolner


Frank Woolner was a well-known authority on fishing, hunting, natural history and conservation.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Frank left high school in his junior year, worked as a cook and automobile spray painter, and was New England amateur bicycle racing champion (#13) for four years, retiring undefeated to join the World War II effort. From 1942 to 1944 Woolner was chief writer for the 3rd Armored “Spearhead” Division. He also was a tank commander on the front lines and a veteran of the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944. After the war Sgt. Woolner remained in Germany to co-write (with Major Murray H. Fowler) the Division’s narrative history, the military classic Spearhead in the West.

Frank hadn’t done any surf fishing prior to 1942, but while overseas he received letters describing the budding activity on Cape Cod beaches. When he had his chance in 1946, both the sport and the tackle were still in their early stages of development: rods were blank Calcutta sticks with wound-on guides which didn’t work for long, and the Cuttyhunk linen line soaked up water and showered anglers with every cast. But there were beach buggies, and Frank was immediately recognizable in his first of many Model A Fords, purchased for $25 and painted dazzle (grey, green, yellow, and purple) camouflage.

When Frank became the Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Rod and Gun Editor, he used his daily column to introduce his home town to the sport – and to the striped bass. His readers became striper-savvy and striper-obsessed in a big way, driving their 40-mph buggies 80 miles to the Cape Cod Canal, then another 60 to Provincetown, where they navigated the beaches from midnight to dawn and tide to tide. By the 1950s the sport was booming. The Worcester Striper Club was formed, and Frank helped organize the Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association in 1949. Their code of ethics covered everything from keeping beaches clean to maintaining good relations with town authorities, and in their numbered buggies (Frank in his lucky #13), members had almost unlimited beach access until the mid-1960s.

In 1950 Hal Lyman, owner and publisher of Salt Water Sportsman, was called back into the Navy, and Frank took over the magazine’s reins. Under his tutelage, what had begun in 1939 as the four-page weekly “Voice of the Coastal Sport Fisherman” became the instrument that defined marine angling and marine conservation, as Frank explored new frontiers and kept ahead of the rapidly evolving world of techniques, tackle, conservation and management. By the late 1960s the magazine’s editorials and slogans (“Limit your catch, don’t catch your limit”) began to reflect the thinking of the day, and fewer photos of excessive catches were featured. Frank, who had appeared in similar shots years before, now had a favorite phrase to describe them: “Dead fish, dumb fisherman.”

As one of the biggest names in saltwater angling, Woolner’s influence not only shaped Salt Water Sportsman but also fostered the careers of the sport’s most promising writers. He held others to the same high standard to which he held himself, and went out of his way to reassure those in whom he saw potential, often sending a letter of encouragement instead of a stark rejection slip.

Woolner was a masterful writer. He co-authored books on striped bass, weakfish, bottom fishing, saltwater tackle and techniques; authored six other titles; received numerous awards for excellence in craft; and remained on the Salt Water Sportsman masthead until his death in 1994. 

Roderick Haig-Brown


Roderick Langmere Haig-Brown was a Canadian writer and conservationist.

Haig-Brown was born in Lancing, Sussex, England. His father, Alan Haig-Brown, was a teacher and a prolific writer, the author of hundreds of articles and poems on sports, the military, and educational issues in various periodicals. Alan was also an officer in the British Army during World War I. In 1918 he was killed in action in France.

Roderick's mother, Violet Mary Pope, was one of fifteen children of Alfred Pope, a wealthy Dorset brewer. After the war ended Roderick, his mother and his two sisters went to live with her family. His grandfather Pope was an industrious man with very strong Victorian values of “service, fair play, decency and acceptance of the obligations that follow with the privilege of class and education.”

His grandfather was a friend of Thomas Hardy and took young Roderick to tea there on at least one occasion. Roderick later noted in his essay “Hardy’s Dorset” that he regretted not having elicited more information from Hardy about being a writer, but he was sixteen then and was passionate about fishing and shooting. Life on his grandfather's country estate on the Frome River was fascinating to him. His many uncles loved sport and taught him to fish and shoot, but it was a family friend, Major Greenhill, who served as Roderick’s sporting mentor and taught him both the skills and the ethics of sportsmanship. The estate's gamekeepers introduced him to the importance of conservation and the complexity of the environment. In 1921 Roderick entered Charterhouse where his grandfather Haig-Brown had been headmaster.

His physical and social childhood environment contributed, according to biographer Anthony Robertson, to Roderick’s code of conduct. Throughout his life he adhered to an ideal balanced between reason and passion, an ideal infused with knowledge and tempered by responsibility, decency and fair play. This code “invoked a mental and physical discipline that went beyond making a successful catch or kill; its central virtue was knowledge, intimate and thorough, transcending pursuit.”

Haig-Brown found his way to British Columbia, Canada through a series of unexpected events. After he was expelled from Charterhouse School, he joined his father’s regiment for a short while, but found that army life was too restrictive. The family decided that the British Colonial Civil Service might be a more agreeable alternative, but he was too young to write the exams. He went, in the meantime to Seattle, Washington at the invitation of an uncle who had married a Seattle woman, promising his mother he would come back when he was eligible for the civil service. He worked at a logging camp in Washington, then crossed the border to Canada because his U.S. visa had expired. He remained in British Columbia for three years to work at Nimpkish Lake on Vancouver Island as a logger, a commercial fisherman and an occasional guide to visiting anglers. He returned to England in 1931 and enjoyed the fast-paced life of London. But images of British Columbia haunted him while he wrote his first book, Silver: The Life of an Atlantic Salmon (1931) as well as part of Pool and Rapid (1932). He returned to BC at the end of the year and planned his third book, Panther (1934).

He married Ann Elmore of Seattle after publishing Panther, and the couple settled on the banks of the Campbell River where they lived for the rest of their lives, raising three daughters and a son.

From the year of his return to British Columbia to 1976, the year of his death, Roderick Haig-Brown published twenty-three books (five more were published posthumously), wrote numerous articles and essays, and created several series of talks and historical dramas for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is most famous internationally for his writing on fly fishing and the natural world.

He joined the Canadian Army as a personnel officer in 1943 and was later seconded for several months to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police which allowed him to travel across Canada and to the Arctic. He was magistrate for the town of Campbell River from 1941 until 1974. He became a trustee of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, an advisor to the BC Wildlife Federation, a senior advisor to Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Flyfishers, and a member of the Federal Fisheries Development Council and the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission. He was also Chancellor of University of Victoria from 1970 to 1973. He served three times on the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia. These many responsibilities prevented him from devoting much time to writing. He retired from the bench a year before his death and was planning to get back to writing as the pressure of his other commitments gradually eased off. His life in his mature years were featured in many of his books, especially "A River Never Sleeps" and "Measure of the Year."

R.L. Haig-Brown died on October 9, 1976 at the age of 68.

01 June, 2018

Barry Corbin


Leonard Barrie Corbin, known as Barry Corbin, is an American actor with more than 100 film, television, and video game credits.

Corbin was born in Lamesa, the seat of Dawson County, south of Lubbock in West Texas. He is the son of the former Alma LaMerle Scott (1918–1994), a teacher, and Kilmer Blaine Corbin, Sr. (1919–1993), a school principal, judge, and Democratic member of the Texas State Senate for two terms, from 1949–1957. Corbin was named for author J. M. Barrie by his mother. He played football briefly in eighth grade, but soon moved to the arts, including acting and ballet classes. He graduated from Monterey High School. Corbin studied theatre arts at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. At 21, he joined the United States Marine Corps, served two years, and then returned to Tech.

Corbin began his career as a Shakespearean actor in the 1960s, but today he is more likely to be seen in the role of the local sheriff, military leader, or some other authority figure, though on occasion, he has effectively portrayed murderous villains, as well. To moviegoers, he is well remembered as General Beringer in WarGames, John Travolta's uncle Bob Davis in Urban Cowboy, co-starring with Clint Eastwood in Any Which Way You Can, or Roscoe Brown, July Johnson's bumbling deputy in the acclaimed western Lonesome Dove.

From 1979 until 1984, he appeared in several episodes of Dallas as Sheriff Fenton Washburn. In 1983, Corbin co-starred in the famed television miniseries The Thorn Birds. Corbin played Mary Carson's stockman Pete, who teaches the Cleary's sons how to shear sheep on their aunt's gigantic sheep station Drogheda, in Australia. In 1983–1984, Corbin played Merit Sawyer in the NBC television series Boone. Corbin's role was that of a stern father to the young actor Tom Byrd, who played Boone Sawyer, an aspiring singer. The program was set in rural Tennessee during the 1950s and was created by Earl Hamner, who had great success earlier with CBS's The Waltons.

From 1990 to 1995, Corbin portrayed former astronaut and local business leader Maurice Minnifield on CBS's Northern Exposure, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination.

In 1994, Corbin narrated the acclaimed TBS documentary MoonShot, telling the story of the 1960s space race from the first-person viewpoint of Mercury Seven astronaut Deke Slayton. In 2007, he played the character Clay Johnson, father of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on The Closer series.

From 2003–2008, Corbin played Whitey Durham, the basketball coach for the Tree Hill Ravens on The WB/CW teenage drama series One Tree Hill. He also had a role in 2008's Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men. Corbin lost most of his hair in the 1990s due to alopecia areata. Since then, he has played various roles with a shaved head, wearing a cowboy hat, or occasionally wearing a full toupee. Corbin is the signature voice of radio station KPLX in Fort Worth, Texas, and has also voiced trailers and promos for CMT and various other country radio stations. In 2014 he became the spokesman for The Texas Veterans Land Board.

In 2014, Corbin worked with Tracey Birdsall on Dawn of the Crescent Moon, followed by working alongside her for the up-coming science fiction films At the Edge of Time (2016) and The Time War (2017).

31 May, 2018

Pat Oliphant


Patrick Bruce "Pat" Oliphant is an Australian-American editorial cartoonist whose career spans more than fifty years. His trademark is a small penguin character named Punk, who is often seen making a comment about the subject of the panel. In 1990, the New York Times described him as "the most influential editorial cartoonist now working."

Oliphant's career began in 1952, when he worked as a copy boy with the Adelaide News. He worked as staff cartoonist for the Adelaide Advertiser until 1964, when he moved to the United States to take up a position with The Denver Post. His strip was nationally syndicated and internationally syndicated in 1965. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1967 for his 1 February 1966 cartoon They Won't Get Us to The Conference Table ... Will They? Oliphant moved to the now defunct Washington Star for six years, until the paper folded in 1981.

Oliphant's work has appeared in several exhibitions, most notably at the National Portrait Gallery. Beyond editorial cartoons, his work also includes painting, works on paper, and sculptures of political figures and animals. His work is in the permanent collection of the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, Oliphant won the National Cartoonist Society Editorial Cartoon Award seven times in 1971, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1989, 1990, and 1991, the Reuben Award in 1968 and 1972 and the Thomas Nast Prize in 1992.

Oliphant retired from publishing syndicated cartoons after January 13, 2015, He came out of retirement on February 2, 2017 with two images of Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Jesse Owens


James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 Games.

Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump and was recognized in his lifetime as "perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history". His achievement of setting three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been called "the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport" and has never been equaled. At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens achieved international fame by winning four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the Games and, as a black man, was credited with "single-handedly crushing Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy", although he "wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either."

The Jesse Owens Award is USA Track and Field's highest accolade for the year's best track and field athlete. Owens was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the twentieth century and the highest-ranked in his sport. In 1999 he was on the six-man shortlist for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Century.

Owens was the youngest of ten children, three girls and seven boys, born to Henry Cleveland Owens (a sharecropper) and Mary Emma Fitzgerald in Oakville, Alabama, on September 12, 1913. J.C., as he was called, was nine years old when the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, for better opportunities, as part of the Great Migration, when 1.5 million African Americans left the segregated South. When his new teacher asked his name, he said "J.C.", but because of his strong Southern accent, she thought he said "Jesse". The name stuck, and he was known as Jesse Owens for the rest of his life.

As a youth, Owens took different jobs in his spare time: he delivered groceries, loaded freight cars and worked in a shoe repair shop while his father and older brother worked at a steel mill. During this period, Owens realized that he had a passion for running. Throughout his life, Owens attributed the success of his athletic career to the encouragement of Charles Riley, his junior high track coach at Fairmount Junior High School. Since Owens worked in a shoe repair shop after school, Riley allowed him to practice before school instead.

Owens and Minnie Ruth Solomon (1915–2001) met at Fairmont Junior High School in Cleveland when he was 15 and she was 13. They dated steadily through high school. Ruth gave birth to their first daughter, Gloria, in 1932. They married on July 5, 1935 and had two more daughters together: Marlene, born in 1937, and Beverly, born in 1940. They remained married until his death in 1980.

Darrel V. Heald


Darrel Verner Heald was a lawyer and political figure in Saskatchewan and a Canadian federal judge. He represented Lumsden from 1964 to 1971 in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan as a Liberal.

He was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, the son of Herbert Heald and Lotta Knutson, and was educated in Liberty, in Govan and at the University of Saskatchewan, where he received B.A. and a LLB degrees. Heald articled in Regina. He then served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. After the war, Heald practised law in Regina. In 1951, he married Doris Rose Hessey. He served in the provincial cabinet as Attorney General, as Provincial Secretary and as Minister of Co-operation and Co-operative Development. Heald was defeated by Gary Lane when he ran for reelection to the Saskatchewan assembly in 1971. He was a member of the executive for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and was president of the Regina Curling Club. In 1971, he was named to the Federal Court of Canada in Ottawa, serving in both the Trial and Appeal divisions. Heald retired from the bench in 1989. He retired to British Columbia and died there at the age of 90.

Godfrey Talbot


Godfrey Talbot was an English broadcast journalist. After an early career in print journalism, his time as a BBC Radio journalist included periods as a war reporter and royal correspondent. He was the first officially accredited court correspondent at Buckingham Palace.

Talbot was born on 8 October 1908 at Walton, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, and he was educated at Leeds Grammar School. He joined the Yorkshire Post at the age of 20. Four years later, he was editor of the Manchester City News, then worked at the Daily Dispatch, before joining the BBC in 1937.

During World War II, having been sent to replace Richard Dimbleby, he reported on North African battles such as Al Alamein and Cassino, for which he was mentioned in dispatches and, in 1946, made a military Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

He appeared as a castaway on the BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs on 29 August 1960. In the same year, he was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order. He published two volumes of autobiography.

He died peacefully at home on 3 September 2000.

Richard Dimbleby


Frederick Richard Dimbleby, CBE was an English journalist and broadcaster, who became the BBC’s first war correspondent, and then its leading TV news commentator.

As host of the long-running current affairs programme Panorama, he pioneered a popular style of interviewing that was respectful but searching. At formal public events, he could combine gravitas with creative insights based on extensive research. He was also able to maintain interest throughout the all-night election specials.

Dimbleby was born near Richmond, Surrey, the son of Gwendoline Mabel (Bolwell) and Frederick Jabez George Dimbleby, a journalist. He was educated at Mill Hill School, and began his career in 1931 on the Richmond and Twickenham Times, which his grandfather had acquired in 1894.

He then worked as a news reporter on the Southern Evening Echo in Southampton, before joining the BBC as a radio news reporter in 1936, going on to become their first war correspondent. He accompanied the British Expeditionary Force to France, and made broadcasts from the battle of El Alamein and the Normandy beaches during the D-Day landings.

During the war, he flew on some twenty raids as an observer with RAF Bomber Command, including one to Berlin, recording commentary for broadcast the following day. In 1945, he broadcast the first reports from Belsen concentration camp. He also was one of the first journalists to experiment with unconventional outside broadcasts, such as when flying in a de Havilland Mosquito accompanying a fighter aircraft raid on France, or being submerged in a diving suit, and also describing the wrecked interior of Hitler's Reich Chancellery at the war's end.

Married to Dilys Thomas in Copthorne, West Sussex in 1937, Dimbleby had four children, two of whom, David and Jonathan, have followed in his footsteps to become major broadcasting figures, both anchoring election night broadcasts (David on the BBC, Jonathan on ITN). In addition, Dimbleby's third son, Nicholas, sculpted the plaque in his father's name that was placed in Poets' Corner in 1990.

After the war Dimbleby switched to television, eventually becoming the BBC's leading news commentator, and is perhaps best remembered as the commentator on several major public occasions. These included the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the funerals of George VI, John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill. He wrote a book about the coronation, Elizabeth Our Queen, which was given free to many schoolchildren at the time. He also wrote a London crime novel Storm at the Hook, published in 1948.

He was the BBC's war correspondent who accompanied the British 11th Armoured Division to the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and described the scene in a report so graphic that the BBC declined to broadcast it for four days, relenting only when he threatened to resign:

...Here over an acre of ground lay dead and dying people. You could not see which was which... The living lay with their heads against the corpses and around them moved the awful, ghostly procession of emaciated, aimless people, with nothing to do and with no hope of life, unable to move out of your way, unable to look at the terrible sights around them ... Babies had been born here, tiny wizened things that could not live ... A mother, driven mad, screamed at a British sentry to give her milk for her child, and thrust the tiny mite into his arms, then ran off, crying terribly. He opened the bundle and found the baby had been dead for days.

He took part in the first Eurovision television relay in 1951 and appeared in the first live television broadcast from the Soviet Union in 1961. He also introduced a special programme in July 1962 showing the first live television signal from the United States via the Telstar satellite. In addition to heavyweight journalism, he took part in lighter sound radio programmes such as Twenty Questions (as a panel member) and Down Your Way.

From 1955 he was the host of the flagship current affairs series Panorama.  He was able to maintain his reporting talents by visiting places like Berlin, standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate a week before the Berlin Wall was erected across it by the communist authorities of East Germany.

Dimbleby's reputation was built upon his ability to describe events clearly yet with a sense of the drama and poetry of the many state occasions he covered. Examples included the Lying-in-State of George VI in Westminster Hall where he depicted the stillness of the guardsmen standing like statues at the four corners of the catafalque, or the description of the drums at Kennedy's funeral which, he said, "beat as the pulse of a man's heart." His commentary for the funeral of Churchill in January 1965 was the last state event he commentated upon.

To produce his commentaries, he carried out encyclopedic research on all aspects of the venues of great events, their history and that of the ceremonies taking place, and the personalities involved. This was a necessary part of radio commentary, which transferred well to television coverage. He could also improvise extensively if there were delays in the schedule. His audience always felt that they were in "safe hands", especially in Panorama programmed like the one dealing with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Inevitably, because of his close association with establishment figures and royalty, some people criticized his "hushed tones" style of speaking at state occasions, claiming he was pompous. In an interview he laughed-off such attacks explaining that, even though he had to use a special microphone which covered his mouth to obviate his speaking disrupting the solemn atmosphere, he still had to pitch his voice low to avoid his voice carrying. A more common touch was demonstrated in his friendly broadcasts like Down Your Way where he met thousands of ordinary people in towns and villages, and the many trade unionists, politicians and industrialists etc. who appeared on Panorama and other programmed. Dimbleby also showed stamina and imperturbability in marathon election night broadcasts which ran from 10.00pm when the polls closed to around 6.00am or 7.00am the following morning.

During his time with Panorama, Dimbleby narrated the famous spaghetti-tree hoax on 1 April 1957, as an April Fool's Day joke. After commentating for half an hour on Elizabeth II's state visit in 1965 to Germany, Dimbleby uttered the minced oath, "Jesus wept," unaware that the microphone was live, after discovering that the TV pictures had failed for all 30 minutes, meaning he would have to repeat the commentary again.

In June 1946, Dimbleby was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services as a war correspondent. In the 1959 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

On December 22, 1965, Richard Dimbleby died in St Thomas' Hospital, London, at the age of 52.

William Leveson-Gower


Vice-Admiral William Spencer Leveson-Gower, 4th Earl Granville, KG, GCVO, CB, DSO, styled The Honourable William Leveson-Gower until 1939, was a British naval commander and governor from the Leveson-Gower family.

Leveson-Gower was the younger son of Granville Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville, by his second wife Castila Rosalind Campbell. After Wixenford School, William Leveson-Gower joined the Royal Navy in 1894. He was promoted to Sub Lieutenant in 1900, and lieutenant on 26 June 1902, when he was re-appointed to the torpedo cruiser HMS Scout. In August 1902 he was posted to the HMS Hood, serving on the Mediterranean Station. Promotion to commander followed in 1913. He served in First World War and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1919.  He was appointed Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, The Nore in 1924, aide-de-camp to the King in 1929 and Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Scotland in 1931. He was made a Companion of the Bath in 1930 and retired in 1935.

Leveson-Gower became Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man in 1937. In 1939 he succeeded his elder brother in the earldom. Granville was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) in 1945 and became Governor of Northern Ireland in 1945, serving until 1952. He was made a Knight of the Garter that same year.

In 1916, Lord Granville married Lady Rose Bowes-Lyon, the second surviving daughter of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and elder sister of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Lord Granville died in June 1953, aged 72. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. The Countess Granville died in 1967.

W. Sholto Douglas


Marshal of the Royal Air Force William Sholto Douglas, 1st Baron Douglas of Kirtleside, was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force. After serving as a pilot, then a flight commander and finally as a squadron commander during the First World War, he served a flying instructor during the inter-war years before becoming Director of Staff Duties and then Assistant Chief of the Air Staff at the Air Ministry.

During the Second World War Douglas clashed with other senior commanders over strategy in the Battle of Britain. Douglas argued for a more aggressive engagement with a 'Big Wing' strategy i.e. using massed fighters to defend the United Kingdom against enemy bombers. He then became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Fighter Command in which role he was responsible for rebuilding the command's strength after the attrition of the Battle of Britain, but also for bringing it on the offensive to wrest the initiative in the air from the German Luftwaffe.

Douglas went on to be Air Officer Commanding in Chief of RAF Middle East Command in which role he was an advocate of Operation Accolade, a planned British amphibious assault on Rhodes and the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea, and was disappointed when it was abandoned. He became commander of the British Zone of Occupation in Germany after the war.

Born the son of Professor Robert Langton Douglas and his wife Margaret Jane Douglas (née Cannon), Douglas was educated at Emanuel School, Tonbridge School and Lincoln College, Oxford.

Douglas was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery on 15 August 1914. In January 1915, following a disagreement with his commanding officer, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps joining No. 2 Squadron as an observer. He soon trained as a pilot and earned Royal Aero Club Certificate No 1301. Promoted to lieutenant on 9 June 1915, he became a pilot with No. 14 Squadron at Shoreham in July 1915 and then transferred to No. 8 Squadron, flying B.E.2c aircraft on the Western Front, in August 1915. Appointed a flight commander with the rank of temporary captain in December 1915, he joined No. 18 Squadron at Montrose in January 1916. He was awarded the Military Cross on 14 January 1916.

Douglas went on to be officer commanding No. 43 Squadron, flying Sopwith 1½ Strutters on the Western Front, in April 1916 and, having been promoted to temporary major on 1 July 1916, he became then officer commanding No. 84 Squadron, flying S.E.5s on the Western Front, in August 1917. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 8 February 1919.

After the war Douglas worked briefly for Handley Page and as a commercial pilot before rejoining the Royal Air Force in 1920 after a chance meeting with Hugh Trenchard. After being granted a permanent commission as a squadron leader on 25 March 1920, Douglas attended the RAF Staff College and then served as a flight instructor for four years. Promoted to wing commander on 1 January 1925, he continued his work as an instructor before attending the Imperial Defence College in 1927. He became station commander at RAF North Weald in January 1928 and then joined the Air Staff at Headquarters Middle East Command in Khartoum in August 1929. Promoted to group captain on 1 January 1932, he became an instructor at the Imperial Defence College in June 1932 and then, having been promoted to air commodore on 1 January 1935, he became Director of Staff Duties at the Air Ministry on 1 January 1936. Promoted to air vice marshal on 1 January 1938, he went on to be Assistant Chief of the Air Staff on 17 February 1938.

On 22 April 1940, with the Second World War well under way, he was made Deputy Chief of the Air Staff. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 11 July 1940. During 1940, Douglas and Trafford Leigh-Mallory clashed with the head of No. 11 Group, Keith Park, and the head of Fighter Command, Hugh Dowding, over strategy in the Battle of Britain. Douglas argued for a more aggressive engagement with a 'Big Wing' strategy i.e. using massed fighters to defend the United Kingdom against enemy bombers. When Charles Portal was made Chief of the Air Staff in October 1940 he supported Douglas, moving Park and Dowding and appointing Douglas to replace Dowding as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Fighter Command, with the temporary rank of air marshal on 25 November 1940. He was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 1 July 1941 and promoted to the substantive rank of air marshal on 14 April 1942.

At around this time Prime Minister Winston Churchill recommended Douglas to command the China Burma India Theater but General George Marshall refused to accept the appointment due to Douglas's well known dislike of Americans.

As commander-in-chief of Fighter Command, Douglas was responsible for rebuilding the command's strength after the attrition of the Battle of Britain, but also for bringing it on the offensive to wrest the initiative in the air from the German Luftwaffe. He was therefore one of the main orchestrators of the only partially successful Circus offensive whereby large wings of fighters accompanied by bombers would take advantage of good weather to sweep over Northern France.

Douglas was promoted to temporary air chief marshal on 1 July 1942. On 28 November 1942 Douglas was replaced at Fighter Command by Trafford Leigh-Mallory and was transferred to Egypt, becoming Air Officer Commanding in Chief of RAF Middle East Command in January 1943. In that capacity Douglas was an advocate of Operation Accolade, a planned British amphibious assault on Rhodes and the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea, and was disappointed when it was abandoned.

Douglas returned to England in January 1944 to head Coastal Command during the invasion of Normandy and then, having been confirmed in the rank of air chief marshal on 6 June 1945, he became Commander in Chief, British Air Forces of Occupation in July 1945. He was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 1 January 1946.

Promoted to marshal of the Royal Air Force on 1 January 1946, Douglas became the second commander of the British Zone of Occupation in Germany in May 1946. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Douglas of Kirtleside, of Dornock in the County of Dumfries on 17 February 1948, sitting as a member of the Labour Party. Douglas retired in 1947 and became chairman of BEA in 1949, a post he retained until 1964. He published two volumes of autobiography, Years of Combat, covering the First World War, and Years of Command covering the Second World War.

Douglas died in hospital in Northampton on October 29, 1969 and was buried at St Clement Danes in The Strand in London.

Sir Lennox Berkeley


Sir Lennox Randal Francis Berkeley was an English composer.

He was born in Oxford, England, and educated at the Dragon School, Gresham's School and Merton College, Oxford. His father was Hastings George Fitzhardinge Berkeley, a captain in the Royal Navy and illegitimate son of George Lennox Rawdon Berkeley, 7th Earl of Berkeley (1827–1888).

In 1927, he went to Paris to study music with Nadia Boulanger, and there he became acquainted with Francis Poulenc, Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger and Albert Roussel. Berkeley also studied with Maurice Ravel, often cited as a key influence in Berkeley's technical development as a composer.

In 1936 he met Benjamin Britten, another old boy of Gresham's School, at the ISCM Festival in Barcelona. Berkeley fell in love with Britten, who appears to have been wary of entering a relationship, writing in his diary, "we have come to an agreement on that subject." Nevertheless, the two composers shared a house for a year, living in the Old Mill at Snape, Suffolk, which Britten had acquired in July 1937. They subsequently enjoyed a long friendship and artistic association, collaborating on a number of works; these included the suite of Catalan dances titled Mont Juic, and Variations on an Elizabethan Theme.

He worked for the BBC during the Second World War, where he met his future wife, Freda Bernstein, whom he married in 1946. Lady Berkeley died in 2016.

He wrote several piano works for the pianist Colin Horsley, who commissioned the Horn Trio and some piano pieces, and gave the first performances and/or made the premier recordings of a number of his works, including his third Piano Concerto (1958).

He was Professor of Composition in the Royal Academy of Music from 1946 to 1968 and his pupils included Richard Rodney Bennett, David Bedford, Clive Strutt and John Tavener. 1954 saw the premiere of his first opera, Nelson, at Sadler's Wells. He was knighted in 1974 and from 1977–83 was President of the Cheltenham Festival.

He resided at 8 Warwick Avenue, London, from 1947 until his death in 1989

30 May, 2018

Sir Henry Gullett


Sir Henry Somer Gullett was an Australian politician who served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1925 until his death in the 1940 Canberra air disaster. He was a minister in the governments of Stanley Bruce, Joseph Lyons, Earle Page, and Robert Menzies, including as Minister for External Affairs under Menzies.

Gullett was born at Toolamba West, Victoria and educated at state schools, but left school at twelve on the death of his father. He began writing for newspapers. In 1908 he travelled to London as a journalist and in 1914 published a handbook on Australian rural life, The Opportunity in Australia to promote emigration to Australia.

In 1915, Gullett became an official Australian correspondent on the Western Front. In July 1916, he joined the first Australian Imperial Force (AIF) as a gunner. From early 1917 he worked with Charles Bean in collecting war records and later with the AIF as a war correspondent in Palestine. In 1919, he was briefly director of the Australian War Museum. He started writing volume VII of The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, covering the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, which he completed in 1922. In 1920, Billy Hughes appointed him head of the Australian Immigration Bureau, but he resigned in February 1922 over disagreements in relation to immigration policy and returned to journalism.

Gullett failed to win a seat at the 1922 election, but he won the seat of Division of Henty for the Nationalist Party in 1925 election and held it for the rest of his life. He was Minister for Trade and Customs from November 1928 in the third Bruce Ministry until its fall in October 1929. On the 1931 election of the United Australia Party government, he was again Minister for Trade and Customs and attended the British Empire Economic Conference in Ottawa, which attempted to establish Imperial Preference, a system of tariff concession within the British Empire. As a result, he was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in January 1933, but he resigned as minister on the same month on health grounds. In October 1934, he became minister without portfolio, with responsibility for trade treaties, in the second Lyons Ministry and he negotiated several trade agreements. He resigned in March 1937 over disagreements with Cabinet over trade policy.

In April 1939, Gullett became Minister for External Affairs in the first Menzies Ministry and Minister for Information from September 1939. However, when Robert Menzies formed a coalition with the Country Party in March 1940, he was moved to Vice-President of the Executive Council, and Minister in charge of Scientific and Industrial Research. He was killed in the Canberra air disaster in August 1940.

Robert Grow


Major General Robert Walker Grow was a senior United States Army officer who commanded the 6th Armored Division during World War II.

Born in Sibley, Iowa to Nellie (née Walker) and John Thomas Grow. His mother died when he was two years old and Grow went to live with his paternal grandparents, as his father went to Canada to work. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1916. He married Mary Louella Marshall (1896-1974), daughter of Willamina H. "Willie" (née Robertson) and J Walter Marshall, of Cleveland, Tennessee on November 5, 1917 in Hamilton, Tennessee. They had two sons, Robert Marshall and Walker Thomas, both attendees of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Robert W. Grow was the commander the U.S. 6th Armored Division on the Western Front, fighting during the battles of Normandy and of the Bulge.

His command of the 6th Armored Division in its rapid assault across the Brittany Peninsula is considered one of the finest examples of armor in the exploitation phase. This stunning advance is often overlooked due to the more glamorous exploits of the rest of the U.S. Army surrounding the German Seventh Army at the same time.

He is also known for being court-martialed in 1951 during the Cold War on charges of failing to safeguard classified information. At the time, he was the senior U.S. military attache in Moscow, and portions of his diary came into Soviet knowledge. Grow retired after the court-martial November 3, 1985

Thorbjörn Fälldin


Nils Olof Thorbjörn Fälldin was a Swedish politician. He was Prime Minister of Sweden in three non-consecutive cabinets from 1976 to 1982, and leader of the Swedish Centre Party from 1971 to 1985.

Fälldin was born in Högsjö parish, Ångermanland, the son of the farmer Nils Johan Fälldin and his wife Hulda (née Olsson). He grew up in a farming family in Ångermanland, and in 1956 he and his wife, as a newlywed young couple, took over a small farm. However, the farming authorities did not approve the purchase, as the farm was considered too small and too run down for production, and so refused to provide farm subsidies. This fight led him into the youth branch of the Swedish agrarian party Farmers' League (Bondeförbundet), which in 1958 changed its name to the Centre Party. He and his family maintained their farm throughout his political life, and when he resigned from politics in 1985, he immediately returned to it.

Fälldin entered the Swedish national political stage when he was elected to the Swedish Riksdag in 1958 for the agrarian-rooted Centre Party. In competition with Johannes Antonsson, he became first vice-chairman of the party in 1969, and then chairman in 1971, succeeding veteran Gunnar Hedlund.  In the 1976 election, the Social Democrats sensationally lost their majority for the first time in 40 years. Following the 1979 election, Fälldin regained the post of Prime Minister, despite his party suffering major losses and losing its leading role in the centre-right camp, primarily due to public disenchantment with the Centre Party over its compromise on nuclear power with the nuclear-friendly Moderates, and he again formed a coalition government with the Liberals and the Moderates. This cabinet also lasted for two years, when disagreement over tax policies compelled the Moderates to leave the coalition. Fälldin continued as Prime Minister until the election in 1982.

After a disastrous second election defeat in 1985 Fälldin faced massive criticism from his party. He resigned as party leader and retired from politics. His posts since that time have included chairman of Föreningsbanken, Foreningen Norden and Televerket.  While serving as Prime Minister during the U 137 crisis in October–November 1981, Fälldin is remembered for the simple answer "Hold the border!" (Håll gränsen!) to the request for instructions from the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces when faced with a suspected Soviet raid to free the stranded submarine.

He died at the age of 90, on July 23, 2016.