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Stewart, Jameslocked

(20 May 1908–02 July 1997)
  • Thomas W. Collins Jr.

Extract

Stewart, James (20 May 1908–02 July 1997), actor, was born James Maitland Stewart in Indiana, Pennsylvania, the son of Alexander Stewart, a prosperous hardware store owner, and Elizabeth Jackson Stewart. Three generations of Stewart men had been employed in the family hardware business, which Stewart's great-granduncle founded in 1851. Stewart's father had attended Princeton University and then settled down in Indiana at the hardware store, and it was assumed that his son would follow a similar career path. In 1923 the younger Stewart was enrolled at Mercersburg Academy, a preparatory school with a reputation for sending graduates to Princeton. As a teenager his avocation was building model airplanes—as he later recalled, “airplanes were the last thing I thought about at night and the first thing I thought about in the morning” (quoted in Dewey, p. 62)—and his imagination was fired by ...

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