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Aaronson, Lazarus (1895–1966), poet and educationist, was born at 34 Great Pearl Street, Spitalfields, London, on 18 February 1895, the son of Louis Aaronson, master bootmaker, and his wife, Sarah, née Kowalski. His parents were impoverished Jewish immigrants from Vilna in the Pale...

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Allan, Elkan Philip (1922–2006), journalist and television producer, was born Elkan Philip Cohen at 16 Hoveden Road, Cricklewood, London, on 8 December 1922, the son of Allan Cohen, (d. 1952), furrier, later an owner of printing presses, and his wife, Rose, née...

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Angel, Moses (1817/18–1898), headmaster and journal editor, was one of the eleven children of Emmanuel Moses (d. 1841), a publican, and his wife, Sarah. At some stage he transposed his name from Angel Moses to Moses Angel, probably in 1839 when his father was convicted at the ...

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Peter Henry Barnes (1931–2004) by James F. Hunkin, 1991 James F. Hunkin; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barnes, Peter Henry (1931–2004), playwright and screenwriter, was born on 10 January 1931 at 33 Devons Road, Bromley, London, the son of (James) Frederick Barnes, fairground caterer and café owner, and his wife, Martha, née Miller.

I grew up in a downmarket seaside resort on the east coast where my parents worked in amusement arcades on the pier and later owned two cafés on the seafront, along with the cockles and whelks stalls, the deckchairs, Punch and Judy booths, and artists who would draw, with a pointed stick, elegant pictures in the wet sand....

Article

Thompson Cooper

revised by John Wells

Barnett, Morris (1800–1856), actor and playwright, was of Jewish descent. He trained as a musician, and the earlier part of his life was spent in Paris. Having resolved to earn his living as an actor, he went as a comedian to Brighton and then to ...

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Baron, (Joseph) Alexander (1917–1999), novelist and screenwriter, was born Joseph Alexander Bernstein on 4 December 1917 at 30 Penyston Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, the son of Barnet Bernstein, later Baron (1894–1977), a Polish-born furrier, and his wife, Fanny, née Levinson (1895–1973). Once settled in ...

Article

Sidney Lee

revised by Roger T. Stearn

Benisch, Abraham (1811–1878), Hebraist and newspaper editor, was born to Jewish parents at Drossau, a small town 8 miles south-west of Klattau in Bohemia. About 1836 he studied surgery at Prague University where, with other Jewish students, he formed an organization for re-establishing Jewish independence in ...

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Bensusan, Samuel Levy (1872–1958), journalist and author, was born on 29 September 1872 at Dulwich, London, the second of five children of Jacob Samuel Levy Bensusan (1846–1917), feather merchant, and Miriam (1848–1926), the daughter of Moses Levy Bensusan and his wife, Emily. His parents were Orthodox Sephardi Jews of Spanish descent whose ancestors had held high office in the courts of the ...

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Bermant, Chaim Icyk (1929-1998), journalist, novelist, and religious commentator, was born in Breslev, Poland, on 26 February 1929, the third child of Azriel Boruch Bermant (1897/8-1962), rabbi, ritual slaughterer, and general religious factotum, and his wife, Feiga, née Daets (1897-1970...

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Binstead, Arthur Morris [nicknamed Pitcher] (1861–1914), journalist and author, was born on 6 January 1861 at 106 Great Titchfield Street, Marylebone, London, the son of Arthur William Binstead, manager of the Continental Gallery in Bond Street, and his wife, Mary Ann Morriss...

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Henri Georges Stephan Adolphe Opper de Blowitz (1825–1903) by Henri Dochy © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Blowitz, Henri Georges Stephan Adolphe Opper de (1825–1903), journalist, was born at Blovice in the Plzeň district of Bohemia, on 28 December 1825, the elder son of Marc Opper or Oppert, a tradesman, and Anne Hartmann. The exact circumstances of his early life are uncertain; the account that he dictated for his posthumously published ...

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Blue, Lionel (1930–2016), rabbi, broadcaster, and author, was born on 6 February 1930 at the Mothers’ Hospital in Hackney, London, as Lionel Bluestein, the only child of Harris (Harry) Bluestein, later Harry Blue (1890–1965), tailor, and his wife Hetty, or Hettie, ...

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Lionel Blue (1930–2016), by David Levenson, 2005

David Levenson/Getty Images

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Brandon [formerly Brandeis], (Oscar) Henry (1916–1993), journalist, was born on 9 March 1916 in Liberec, Bohemia—then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, but shortly to become part of Czechoslovakia—the only child of a banker in Prague whose family name was Brandeis...

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Bresslau, Marcus Hyman (1807/8–1864), newspaper editor, was born in Hamburg, possibly with the Hebrew forenames Mordecai Chaim, to Jewish parents of whom nothing is known. He migrated to London in his youth. He had evidently received a traditional Jewish education, but at the same time had inculcated the ideas of the ...

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Jacob Bronowski (1908–1974) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bronowski, Jacob (1908–1974), mathematician, poet, and humanist, was born on 18 January 1908 in Łódź, Poland, the first of the three children of Abram Bronowski, haberdasher, and his wife, Celia Flatto. During the First World War the family lived in Germany, and in 1920 they moved to ...

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Cass, Frank (1930–2007), publisher, was born on 11 July 1930 at 31 Leweston Place, Stamford Hill, London, the son of Simon (Sid) Cass (1891/2–1959), cabinet manufacturer, and his wife, Fanny, née Greenwich (1900–1985). His parents were Jewish immigrants, from Russian Poland. His career as a publisher arose from a love of books that he discovered as a child while attending ...