30 June, 2008

Orson Welles

George Orson Welles was an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. Welles first gained wide notoriety for his October 30, 1938, radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Adapted to sound like a contemporary news broadcast, it caused a number of listeners to panic. In the mid-1930s, his New York theatre adaptations of an all-black voodoo Macbeth and a contemporary allegorical Julius Caesar became legendary. Welles was also an accomplished magician, starring in troop variety spectacles in the war years. During this period he became a serious political activist and commentator through journalism, radio and public appearances closely associated with Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1941, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in Citizen Kane, often chosen in polls of film critics as the greatest film ever made.

He died of a myocardial infarction at his home in Hollywood, California, at the age of 70, on October 10, 1985.

C.S. Lewis


C. S. Lewis, was an Irish writer and scholar. Lewis's works are diverse and include medieval literature, Christian apologetics, literary criticism, radio broadcasts, essays on Christianity, and fiction relating to the fight between good and evil. Examples of Lewis's fiction include The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy.

Lewis was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings. Both authors were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford University and in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptised in the Church of Ireland at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at about the age of 30, Lewis re-converted to Christianity, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England". His conversion had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.

On November 22, 1963, Lewis collapsed in his bedroom at 5:30 pm and died a few minutes later, exactly one week before what would have been his 65th birthday.

J.R.R. Tolkien



John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English language and literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

After his death, Tolkien's son, Christopher, published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of these writings.

Tolkien died on 2 September, 1973 at the age of 81.

Tolkien along with C.S. Lewis are two of my favorite writers.

William Faulkner


William Faulkner was an American author. He is regarded as one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, and was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Faulkner is known for an experimental style with meticulous attention to diction and cadence. Faulkner made frequent use of "stream of consciousness" in his writing, and wrote often highly emotional, subtle, cerebral, complex, and sometimes Gothic or grotesque stories of a wide variety of characters—ranging from former slaves or descendents of slaves, to poor white, agrarian, or working-class Southerners, to Southern aristocrats.

Most of Faulkner's works are set in his native state of Mississippi, and he is considered one of the most important "Southern writers," along with Mark Twain, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams. While his work was published regularly from the mid 1920s to the late 1940s, he was relatively unknown before receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949. Critics and the public now favor his work, and he is widely seen as among the greatest American writers of all time.

Faulkner's fame and acclaim stem from his novels, novellas, and short stories. He was, however, a published poet and an occasional screenwriter as well.

Faulkner died while at Wright's Sanitorium in Byhalia, Mississippi of a heart attack at the age of 64.

General Douglas MacArthur


Douglas MacArthur was an American general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and later played a prominent role in the Pacific theater of World War II, receiving the Medal of Honor for his early service in the Philippines and on the Bataan Peninsula. He was designated to command the proposed invasion of Japan in November 1945. When that was no longer necessary, he officially accepted their surrender on September 2, 1945.

MacArthur oversaw the Occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. Although criticized for protecting Emperor Hirohito and the imperial family, he is credited with implementing far-ranging democratic changes in that country. He led the United Nations Command forces defending South Korea against the North Korean invasion from 1950 to 1951. On April 11, 1951 MacArthur was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman for publicly disagreeing with Truman's Korean War Policy.

MacArthur is credited with the military dictum, "In war, there is no substitute for victory" but he also warned, "The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." He fought in three major wars and was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army.

Douglas MacArthur died on April 5th 1964, of biliary cirrhosis.