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Seldes, Gilbert Vivian (03 January 1893–29 September 1970), critic and writer, was born in Alliance, New Jersey, the son of George Sergei Seldes, a pharmacist, and Anna Saphro, who died when Gilbert was three. His only sibling, George Seldes, became a distinguished journalist known for his coverage of European affairs between the world wars. Their father, a freethinker of Russian Jewish descent, sought to convert his farm into an anarchist utopian colony. When that did not succeed, he entered the drugstore business. He enjoyed friendships with ...


Gilbert Seldes Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1932. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LOT 12735, no. 1019 P&P).


Spivak, Lawrence (11 June 1900–09 March 1994), publisher and producer of radio and television programs, was born Lawrence Edmund Spivak in New York City, the son of William Benjamin Spivak, a manufacturer of dresses and nurses’ uniforms, and Sonja Bershad. Spivak’s earliest experiences were mercantile as well as reportorial. After working for the ...