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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, ...

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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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Lee, Sir Sidney (1859–1926), second editor of the Dictionary of National Biography and literary scholar, was born Solomon Lazarus Lee at 12 Keppel Street, Bloomsbury, London, on 5 December 1859, the elder son of Lazarus Lee, merchant, and his wife, Jessie Davis. He had a younger brother and four sisters, of whom the eldest of the family, ...

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Louis, Alfred Hyman (1829–1915), scholar and visionary vagrant, was born in 1829 in Birmingham, the eldest son of Hyman Tobias (or Tobar) Louis, a well-to-do merchant, and his wife, Maria. At fifteen he entered King Edward's School, Birmingham, where he began long friendships with ...

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Marx, Karl Heinrich (1818–1883), revolutionary and thinker, known from student days to his intimates as Mohr (the Moor), was born on 5 May 1818 at Brückengasse 664, in Trier, a recent addition to the kingdom of Prussia, the third of nine children and only surviving son of the lawyer ...