Friday, 27 September 2019

1197) James Thomas Flexner

James Thomas Flexner (1908 – 2003). American historian and biographer best known for the four-volume biography of George Washington that earned him a National Book Award in Biography and a special Pulitzer Prize. His one-volume abridgment, Washington: the Indispensable Man (1974) was the basis of two television miniseries broadcast in the mid-1980s starring Barry Bostwick as Washington.
He wrote other historical biographies, including The Young Hamilton (on Alexander Hamilton), Mohawk Baronet (on Sir William Johnson, 1st Baronet), and The Traitor and the Spy: Benedict Arnold and John André. He wrote many books on the history of American art, including a highly regarded life of the American painter John Singleton Copley.
His father was Simon Flexner, a sixth-grade dropout who became a self-taught microbiologist, pathologist, director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City and discoverer of a cure for spinal meningitis. 
His mother was Helen Thomas [Flexner], a professor of English at Bryn Mawr whose sister, Martha Carey Thomas, was president of the college.

- "His hair rises from his scalp in the same strong, tight curls that were to make my own red hair almost impossible to comb."…

- "Until it faded when I was in my forties, my red hair made an instantaneous favorable impression wherever I went."…

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