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Sir Zelman Cowen (1919–2011) by Wes Walters, 2000 © National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Gift of Marc Besen AO and Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE 2000

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Cowen, Sir Zelman (1919–2011), legal scholar, governor-general of Australia, and college head, was born Zelman Cohen on 7 October 1919 in St Kilda, Melbourne, the only son of Bernard Cohen, later Cowen (1892–1975), businessman, and his wife Sara, née Granat (1893–1989). In March 1922 his father changed his surname by deed poll. Both families were part of the mass exodus of Jews from tsarist ...

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Leone Levi (1821–1888) by Elliott & Fry, 1873 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Levi, Leone (1821–1888), jurist, political economist, and statistician, was born on 6 June 1821 in Ancona, later part of the kingdom of Italy. He came from a middle-class Jewish family. His father, Isaac, and his elder brother were both merchants. Leone received a practical, commercial education and began working for his brother at the age of fifteen. He travelled to ...

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William Alexander Robson (1895–1980) by Elliott & Fry, 1963 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Robson, William Alexander (1895–1980), jurist and reformer, was born on 14 July 1895 at Finchley, Middlesex, the first son and youngest of three children of Jack Robson, born Jacob Alexander Isaacs, a dealer in pearls in Hatton Garden, and his wife, Esther Louisa Afriat...