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date: 24 August 2019

Fry, Varianlocked

(15 October 1907–13 September 1967)
  • Justus Rosenberg


Fry, Varian (15 October 1907–13 September 1967), editor, journalist, and teacher, was born on West 150th Street in Manhattan, the only child of Arthur Fry, a partner in a small Wall Street brokerage firm, and Lillian Mackey Fry, a Hunter College graduate who taught school until her marriage. Two years after their son's birth the couple moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey. At age fourteen, Fry was sent to the prestigious Hotchkiss Prep School in Lakeville, Connecticut, where he remained for two unhappy years. Bright but unruly and rebellious, he tangled with the school authorities and by mutual consent left Hotchkiss in 1924 for the Taft Prep School in Watertown, Connecticut, where he remained for less than six months. Enrolled in 1925 at the Riverdale Country School, he commuted to classes in a new four-door Packard given to him by his father. At one point during that year, the headmaster suspended Fry for "loss of control and unpardonable impertinence," adding however that his "mind is in many respects brilliant" and that he had "clear possibilities of genius." He was accepted by Harvard University in 1926, and his freshman year was spent in a frenzy of intellectual and social activity. Together with a classmate, ...

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