• U.S.

People: May 22, 1964

5 minute read

He is an old man, and could be excused for not making the effort. But for Joseph Kennedy, 75, effort has always been worthwhile. Last week the former Ambassador to Britain had recovered sufficiently from his 1961 stroke to walk slowly under his own power into Manhattan’s Caravelle restaurant for dinner. A wooden cane helped, and so did his niece and constant companion, Ann Gargan, but the fact remained that he can walk across a room. He can also rise from a chair using just the cane, and his speech is showing improvement. Now in Hyannis Port, he has spent the last three weeks at Philadelphia’s Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential doing a carefully mapped-out regimen of exercises. In the end, though, it was a question of not giving up hope.

Among the 800 items, there are first editions of Homer, Aristotle, Petrarch, The Faerie Queene, Don Quixote, Divine Comedy, Alice in Wonderland, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, just to mention a few. It took Chicago Lawyer Louis Silver a lifetime to compile his rare-book collection, and by the time he died last October at 61, he had spent $1,500,000. Now it belongs to Chicago’s private Newberry Library, which shelled out $2,750,000 to get it from his estate. That upsets the rare-book-hungry University of Texas, which had agreed to buy the collection for the same price five months ago. But Texas’ lawyers had been haggling over details, and interest on that kind of money mounts up. That’s when the Newberry came along. Crowed Library Vice President Hermon Dunlap Smith, who engineered the coup: “It’s the greatest collection ever acquired by an institution.”

He was on his way to be introduced to the Church of England and to get a name. The Most Rev. Arthur Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, was preparing to do the honors; seven godparents, starting with his Queen, were waiting; water from the River Jordan was sent for the occasion; and the christening robe made for Queen Victoria’s children was dug out of the attic for him to wear. But none of that made the slightest impression on the son of Princess Alexandra and Angus Ogilvy. Just like any other healthy ten-week-old, he let out a sharp little yip as he was baptized James Robert Bruce Ogilvy.

Carefully the honeymoon couple peeked out. Nope, nobody around. Out came chairs, mats and other sunbathing essentials. A photographer poised across the street from the hotel near Naples briefly eyed Spain’s Prince Hugo Carlos. But when Dutch Princess Irene, 24, came out, he clicked away, for her bikini was as brief as her form was royal.

Napoleon was her great-great-grandfather’s godfather, and she hasn’t been able to shake the bit ever since. Born in Corsica (just like him), she moved to Paris (just like him) and studied law (mostly written under him). Then in 1956 Micheline Muselli Pozzo di Borgo, now 35, met Alan Jay Lerner, now 45, and was soon wooed and wed. That didn’t change things. As his fourth wife, she sailed into their English-style East 71st Street Manhattan manse and transformed the 16 rooms (plus eight water loos) into a plush Napoleonic empire. Now she has struck a Wellington of her own. Lerner, she says, spends little precious time at home, and when the millionaire lyricist cut off all her charge accounts around town, his lady finally said no fair. As a counterploy she locked him out on the street where he lives, then sued for separate maintenance. But she still loves him; so of course, said a source, no divorce.

Ill lay: Violinist David Oistralkh, 55, in a Leningrad hospital after a heart attack; Authoress Dorothy Parker, 70, in her Manhattan home, recuperating from a fractured shoulder; Columnist Walter Winchell, 67, treated and released in Los Angeles after suffering a whiplash neck injury when his car was hit from behind.

Midst laurels stood: Stunny Girl Barbra Streisand, 22, named to two Grammies, the recording industry’s top honor —best pop album, best female vocalist; U.S. Socialist Leader Norman Thomas, 79, decorated with the Star of Solidarity First Class, Italy’s highest citation, for his support of the fight to free Italy from Fascism; Paul Hoffman, 73, managing director of the U.N. Special Fund, presented with the American Freedom Association’s 1964 World Peace Award; Film Cowboy and Multi-millionaire Investor Gene Autry, 56, Novelist Pearl Buck, 71, Litton Industries Chairman Charles (“Tex”) Thornton, 50, and Architect Minoru Yamasaki, 41, each given a Horatio Alger Award for a noteworthy rise from “humble beginnings”; Federal Judge Thurgood Marshall, 55, who successfully argued against segregated schools before the U.S. Supreme Court ten years ago, granted the N.A.A.C.P.s Liberty Bell Award; Physiologist Wallace Fenn, 70, who demonstrated loss of muscular tension with in creasing speed of contraction, and Dr. Albert Sabin, 57, who developed the oral polio vaccine, both recipients of $40,000 Antonio Feltrinelli awards presented by the Lincei National Academy, Italy’s leading arts and sciences institute.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com