The Artist of Loving

Humanistic philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm was born on this date in 1900 in Frankfurt, Germany. He was a student of the Talmud and used Jewish texts and imagery as touchstones for his political and psychological insights long after he had left the world of Orthodoxy at age 26. Fromm’s attachment to Judaism as a […]

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George Wald, Scientist and Activist

Nobelist George Wald, who discovered that Vitamin A was a component of the retina and crucial to good eyesight, was born in New York to Jewish immigrant parents on this date in 1906. The first member of his family to attend college, Wald was doing a postgrad fellowship in Switzerland and Germany when Hitler came […]

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Carl Sagan

Astronomer and science writer Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1934. He was best known as the awe-inspired and awe-inspiring host and co-writer of the television series COSMOS: A Personal Voyage, and as the driving force behind NASA’s Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence program (SETI), which monitors radio signals and other possible indications […]

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Joseph Rotblat

Sir Joseph Rotblat, a physicist who received the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on nuclear disarmament, was born in Poland on this date in 1908. Prior to World War II, the mostly self-taught Rotblat conducted experiments in nuclear fission. When World War II broke out, he was working at Liverpool University under James […]

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Bella Abzug and Women Strike for Peace

Bella Abzug, along with co-founder Dagmar Wilson (not Jewish), launched Women Strike for Peace (WSP) on this date in 1961, when some 50,000 women, mostly middle-class mothers of young children in over sixty communities, demonstrated to demand that President John F. Kennedy “End the Arms Race — Not the Human Race.” This was prompted by the […]

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May 21: Armand Hammer

Armand Hammer, a multi-millionaire whose name was derived from the “arm and hammer” symbol of the Socialist Labor Party of America (in which his father was a leader), was born in New York on this date in 1898. Hammer earned a medical degree from Columbia in 1921, then made his first fortune selling pharmaceuticals to […]

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Zuckerman Bound

Dissecting Mort Zuckerman’s Defense of Netanyahu’s Speech by Nicholas Jahr LAST WEEK, on the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, billionaire Mort Zuckerman, chair of U.S. News & World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News, stood up on his soapbox and sang an ode to Bibi, justifying the […]

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June 24: Norman Cousins

Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review from 1942 until 1971, and again from 1973 to 1977, was born in West Hoboken, New Jersey on this date in 1915. An esteemed cultivator of good writers and good writing, Cousins grew SR‘s circulation from 20,000 to 600,000. He was an eloquent champion of nuclear disarmament, leading […]

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