• U.S.

Milestones, Sep. 16, 1957

3 minute read

Born. To Billy Pearson, 37, pint-sized jockey, TV quiz wizard (The $64,000 Question), passionate art collector, and Queta Pearson, 38: a daughter, their first child; in San Diego. Name: Maria Christina. Weight: 6 Ibs. 14 oz.

Married. Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., 59, sometime journalist, lecturer and socialite; and Ann Bernadette Needham, 25, his secretary; he for the sixth time, she for the first; in Reno.

Died. Herbert Pulitzer, 61, third and only surviving son of the late great Editor Joseph Pulitzer (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, New York World), onetime publisher of the New York World (in its final illness, 1930-31); of uremic poisoning; in Paris.

Died. Anne Parrish, 68, novelist, deft, sometimes ruthless, seldom lenient recorder of typical American scenes (Poor Child, All Kneeling); of a cerebral hemorrhage; in Danbury, Conn.

Died. Peter Freuchen, 71, Danish adventurer, explorer, $80,000 TV quiz winner (The $64,000 Question, The $64,000 Challenge), novelist (Ivalu, Eskimo), autobiographer (It’s All Adventure, Vagrant Viking), whose Eskimo-life reporting is considered first-rate popularized anthropology; of a heart attack; at Elmendorf Air Base, near Fairbanks, Alaska. Irascible, impetuous, cantankerous, big (6 ft. 4 in.) Peter Freuchen, descendant of a Danish-Jewish seafaring family, quit medical school for a job at sea, sailed as a stoker, got his first glimpse of Greenland at 20. He returned thereafter with various expeditions, soon learned to talk, live, love like an Eskimo. In 1912 Freuchen and his friend Knud Rasmussen crossed the north Greenland icecap. Childlike in his daring, steel-girded in his endurance, he once (1923) hammered off the frozen toes of his left foot, hopped actively on a peg leg after a subsequent amputation. With his face also frozen, Freuchen grew a full red beard, only shaved briefly to be less recognizable when he joined the wartime resistance in Nazi-held Denmark. In 1945 he settled in Manhattan as U.N. correspondent for Copenhagen’s Politiken, but he was ever anxious to head back to the Arctic. With explorer friends Sir Hubert Wilkins, Admiral Donald Mac-Millan, Colonel Bernt Balchen and Lowell Thomas, he had arrived in Alaska to make TV films when death came.

Died. Baron Maurice (“Momo”) de Rothschild, 76, great-grandson of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the fabled European banking dynasty; after long illness; in Geneva. Momo was only an incidental banker, whose real interests were art collecting, fast horses and gaudy pajamas. A splashy spender, he was elected (1924) Deputy to the French National Assembly, had his seat booted when a bribery charge stuck, softened the bump by winning a senatorial race in 1929.

Died. Gaetamo Salvemini, 83, Italian-born, U.S.-naturalized historian and author (What Is Culture?), longtime (50 years) professor of history (Florence, Pisa, Harvard), who fled Mussolini’s Italy but continued to work his vitriolic pen against Fascism; after long illness; in Sorrento, Italy.

Died. Sir William Alexander (“Wullie”) Craigie, 90, English lexicographer and etymologist, joint editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and of ‘A Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles; in Watlington, England.

Died. William Allen (“Uncle Bill”) Lundy, 109, youngest of the last three surviving Civil War veterans (the others: Texan Walter W. Williams, 114, Virginian John Sailing, in), who volunteered in the Alabama guard at 17, was proud of his Confederate background and freely passed on his secret for a long life: “Keep away from them doctors, and take a little nip all along”; in Crestview, Fla.

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