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Cliff, Tony [formerly Ygael Amnon Gluckstein] (1917–2000), Trotskyist leader, was born on 20 May 1917 at Zikhron Yaakov in Turkish Palestine, the youngest of four children of Akiva Gluckstein, a prosperous building contractor, and his wife, Esther, who had emigrated from Russian ...

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Cohen, Chapman (1868–1954), freethought writer and lecturer, was born in Leicester on 1 September 1868, the elder son of Enoch Cohen, a Jewish confectioner, and his wife, Deborah Barnett. His upbringing was more noted for the absence of Christianity than for any positive Jewish features. He attended a local elementary school but was otherwise self-educated. Although an avid reader, versed in ...

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Deutscher, Isaac (1907–1967), biographer and historian, was born in Chrzanow, near Cracow, Galicia, in Austro-Hungarian Poland on 3 April 1907, the eldest among the three children of Jacob Kopel Deutscher, who owned his own printing business, and his second wife, Gustawa, née Jolles...

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Eder, (Montague) David (1865–1936), psychoanalyst, was born on 12 August 1865 at 19 Euston Square, London, the eldest of the four children of David Martin Eder, shipping merchant, and his second wife, Esther Burnstein, formerly Soloman. His parents were both Jewish. Eder was educated in ...

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See Gaster, Moses

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Hobsbaum, Philip Dennis (1932–2005), poet and literary scholar, was born on 29 June 1932 at 24 Underwood Street, Whitechapel, London, the son of Joseph Hobsbaum, telephone engineer, and his wife, Rachel, née Sapera. His parents were both first-generation eastern European Jewish immigrants. In 1939 his father's job took the family to ...

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Keal, Minna (1909–1999), composer, was born Minnie Nerenstein on 22 March 1909 at 81 Wentworth Street, Spitalfields, east London, into a Yiddish-speaking family from Grodno, Russian Poland, the eldest daughter of Jacob Nerenstein (d. 1926), a Jewish prayer-book publisher and seller, and his wife, ...

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Lakatos, Imre [formerly Imré Lipsitz] (1922–1974), philosopher of mathematics and of science, was born Imré Lipsitz on 9 November 1922 in Debrecen, Hungary, the only child of Jacob Márton Lipsitz, a wine merchant, and Márgit Herczfeld, both Hungarian Jews. His father left the family home shortly after ...

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Laski, Harold Joseph (1893–1950), political theorist, was born on 30 June 1893 at Smedley House, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, the second of the three children of Nathan Laski (1863–1941), a successful cotton exporter, and his wife, Sarah Frankenstein (1869–1945). Nathan was the most prominent figure in the ...

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Harold Joseph Laski (1893–1950) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Marghanita Laski (1915–1988) by Mark Gerson, 1963 © Mark Gerson; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Laski, Marghanita [formerly Esther Pearl] (1915–1988), writer and broadcaster, was born in Maida Vale, London on 24 October 1915, the eldest child (she had one sister, two brothers, and an adopted brother and sister) of Neville Jonas Laski, barrister (later a crown court...

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Leavis [née Roth], Queenie Dorothy (1906–1981), literary scholar, was born on 7 December 1906 at 79 Silver Street, Edmonton, Middlesex, the second of the three children of Morris Roth (1876–1953), hosier, and afterwards draper, and Jane Davis (1876–1940). Her parents were observant Jews. She was educated at ...

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Lieberman, Aaron Samuel (1849?–1880), socialist activist, was probably born in 1849 in Lunna in Grodno province, then part of the Russian empire, son of Eliezer Dov Lieberman, a scholar of the Jewish enlightenment (haskalah). The family moved to Białystok and thence to ...

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Marion Phillips (1881–1932) by Lafayette, 1929 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Phillips, Marion (1881–1932), first Labour Party woman organizer, was born on 29 October 1881 at St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia, youngest in the family of three sons and four daughters of Phillip David Phillips (1836–1909), a well-to-do Australian-born Jewish lawyer, and his wife, Rose Asher...

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Pinter, Harold (1930–2008), actor, playwright, and director, was born on 10 October 1930 at Tudor House, Newington Green, London, the only child of Hyman (Jack) Pinter (1902–1997), ladies' tailor, and his wife, Frances, née Moskowitz (1904–1992). At the time of his birth his parents lived at ...

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Harold Pinter (1930–2008) by Justin Mortimer, 1992 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Raffles, Frances Rachel [Franki] (1955–1994), photographer and campaigner against violence against women, was born in Hope Hospital, Salford, Manchester, on 17 October 1955. She was the third daughter of four children, three sisters and a younger brother, of Gillian, née Posnansky (b...

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Claire Berenice Rayner (1931–2010) by Eamonn McCabe, 2002 © Eamonn McCabe