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Sir Isaiah Berlin (1909–1997) by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies, 1988 © Lucinda Douglas-Menzies; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Berlin, Sir Isaiah (1909–1997), philosopher and historian of ideas, was born on 6 June 1909 in Riga, Latvia, then part of the Russian empire, the son of Mendel Borisovitch Berlin (1884–1953), a prosperous timber merchant whose main business was supplying wooden sleepers for the Russian railways, and his wife, ...