Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What a guy

So, what do you call someone from an old Virginia family (related to Jefferson and Madison) who grew up in South Carolina, and who as a wrestler, a wartime R.A.F. pilot and Foreign Legionnaire, recipient of the French Croix de Guerre and the American Eisenhower medal, movie star, socialite, trumpet player, songwriter, composer, Amazon explorer, horseman, stuntman, artist, ladies' man— who traveled the globe to help resistance movements in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

You call him Charles Fawcett, the man who, along with Varian Fry and a handful of others, helped over 2,000 Jewish refugees flee the Nazis through Marsielles, including such famous intellectuals as Hannah Arendt, Andre Breton, the painters Marc Chagall and Max Ernst, and Heinrich and Golo Mann (the brother and son of Thomas Mann) . He passed away a few days ago, at the age of 92. I hate to find out about people like this after they die.

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