Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 41

Cambridge Encyclopedia

John Greenleaf Whittier

Poet and writer, born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, USA. Although he had little formal education, he studied for one year at Haverhill Academy (1827) and then taught there (1827–8). He began writing poetry as a youth, but started making his living as a newspaper editor (1829–32). A devout Quaker, he thereafter directed much of his energies throughout the Civil War to promoting abolitionism, both …

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John Gresham Machen - Early life, Academic training, Princeton 1906-1916, World War One, Princeton 1918-1926, Controversies

Protestant theologian, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He studied at Johns Hopkins (1901) and Princeton Theological Seminary (1905), and taught at Princeton. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1914 and served overseas with the Young Men's Christian Association during World War 1. A leading conservative during the controversy over fundamentalism in the 1920s, his Christianity and Liberali…

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John Grierson - Early life, Social Critic, Film critic, Filmmaker, Bibliographies, Documentaries About Grierson, Sources

Producer of documentary films, born in Kilmadock, Stirling, C Scotland, UK. He went to Glasgow University, then studied film art in Chicago, making his name with Drifters (1929), a study of North Sea fishermen. Regarded as the founder of the British documentary movement, he moved to the GPO Film Unit in 1933 for his most creative period, during which he produced Night Mail (1936). In 1938 he was i…

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John Griffin Carlisle

US statesman and senator, born in Kenton Co, Kentucky, USA. A self-educated lawyer, he was elected to the US House of Representatives (Democrat, Kentucky, 1877–90). He served as Speaker of the House (1883–90) before appointment to the US Senate (1890–3), and became secretary of the treasury (1893–7) under President Grover Cleveland. A renowned orator, he was so outspoken in support for free tr…

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John Grisham - Biography and career, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Quotes

Novelist, born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA. His early ambition was to play professional baseball, but he later studied accountancy at Mississippi State University (1975–7), and then law at the University of Mississippi (1978–81), after which he practised criminal and civil law. Also interested in politics, he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives (1983–90). His first novel, th…

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John Guare - Life, Works, Awards and honors

Playwright, born in New York City, USA. His first success came with The House of Blue Leaves (1970), a sardonic comedy about how the pope's visit to New York affects a zookeeper's family. He wrote several plays for Joseph Papp's Public Theater, and had his second major hit with Six Degrees of Separation (1990, filmed 1993). In the foreword to a collection of Guare's plays, film director Lou…

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John Gunther - Life and Works, List of works, Work cited

Writer and journalist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Daily News and for NBC. He established his reputation with the best-selling Inside Europe (1936), followed by a series of similar works in which first-hand material is blended with documentary information to present penetrating social and political studies. Other books include Death Be Not Proud (…

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John H(asbrouck) Van Vleck

Physicist, born in Middletown, Connecticut, USA. Educated entirely in the USA, he taught at Harvard (1922–3) and the University of Minnesota (1923–8), where he expanded (1926) English physicist Paul Dirac's quantum mechanics to explain the electric and magnetic properties of atoms. His classical treatise, The Theory of Electric and Magnetic Susceptibilities (1932), published while he was teachin…

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John H(essin) Clarke

Judge, born in New Lisbon, Ohio, USA. He was appointed to the federal district court (1914–16) and to the US Supreme Court (1916–22) by President Wilson. A renowned peacemaker, he stepped down from the bench in 1922 to campaign, albeit unsuccessfully, for the League of Nations. John Hessin Clarke (September 18, 1857 – March 22, 1945) was an American lawyer and judge who served as an Ass…

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John Hall

Physicist, born in Denver, Colorado, USA. He studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1956–8) and Carnegie-Mellon University (1961), after which he joined the faculty at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO, becoming senior fellow in 1988. Since 1964 he has also been fellow of the JILA research institute at the University of Colorado. He shared one half of the 2…

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John Hampden - Further reading

English parliamentarian and patriot, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, became a lawyer, and in 1621 an MP. His opposition to Charles I's financial measures led to his imprisonment (1627–8), and in 1634 he became famous for refusing to pay Charles's imposed levy for outfitting the navy (‘ship money’). A member of both the Short and the Long Parliaments, he was one of the five members who…

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John Hancock - Children, American Revolution, Things named after John Hancock

Merchant and patriot, born in Braintree, Massachusetts, USA. He inherited his uncle's merchant business (1764) and entered the patriot ranks (1765) in opposition to the Stamp Act. He engaged in smuggling, and one of his ships was seized in 1769. He served as the president of the Massachusetts Provisional Congress (1774–5) and as president of the First and Second Continental Congresses (1775–7), …

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John Hanning Speke - Biographies and Other Books about Speke

Explorer, born in Bideford, Devon, SW England, UK. He served in India, and in 1856 went with Burton to search for the equatorial lakes of Africa. They discovered L Tanganyika (1858), then Speke travelled on alone, finding the lake he named Victoria, and saw in it the headwaters of the Nile. Back in England, his claims to have discovered the source of the Nile were doubted, and so a second expediti…

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John Hanson - Personal life, Political career, President of Congress, Legacy

Colonial and Revolutionary official, born in Charles Co, Maryland, USA. He served in the Maryland Assembly almost continuously during 1757–79. He signed the Association of the Freemen of Maryland (1775), which approved armed resistance against the British. Elected to the Continental Congress (1779), he signed the Articles of Confederation (1781) and then served as president of the Congress of the…

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John Harrison - Overview of the problem, Harrison in Lincolnshire, The first three marine timekeepers, The longitude watches, Memorials

Inventor and horologist, born in Foulby, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. By 1726 he had constructed a clock with compensating apparatus for correcting errors due to variations of climate. In 1713 the British government had offered three prizes for the discovery of a method to determine longitude accurately (only possible with very accurate timepieces). After long perseverance he developed a marine …

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John Harvey Kellogg - Biography, Battle Creek Sanitarium, Breakfast cereals, Anti-masturbation writings, Selected publications

Surgeon and food reformer, born in Tyrone Township, Michigan, USA, the brother of Will Kellogg. He was born into a Seventh Day Adventist family, and took a course in a ‘hygieotherapeutic’ school. He rejected this approach and took regular medical training, finishing at Bellevue Hospital Medical College (New York City) but with a thesis claiming that disease is the body's way of defending itself.…

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John Havlicek - Writing

Basketball player, born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, USA. After playing in three National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball finals at Ohio State (1960–2), he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns to play football. He was cut from the team, so he returned to basketball, joining the Boston Celtics who had also drafted him as their number one choice. He played forward for the team (1962–78), wher…

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John Hawkesworth

Writer, born possibly in London, UK. In 1744 he succeeded Dr Johnson on the Gentleman's Magazine, compiling parliamentary debates. In 1752 he started, with Johnson and others, The Adventurer, a periodical to which he made the major contribution. He published a volume of children's tales (1761), wrote dramatic works including Edgar and Emmeline (1761), edited Swift, and prepared a poorly received a…

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John Hay Whitney - Family, Sporting life, Personal life, Military career, Political life, Philanthropy

Financier and publisher, born in Ellsworth, Maine, USA. A member of a patrician family and a Yale graduate (1926), he had a varied career in motion pictures, publishing, and finance. He was chairman of Selznick International Pictures (1936–40), during which time the company produced one of the most popular films of all time, Gone with the Wind. A senior partner in J H Whitney & Co, investment ban…

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John Heartfield - Career, Works

German photomonteur and painter. Together with George Grosz, he was a leading member of the Berlin Dada group in the aftermath of World War 1, producing satirical collages from pasted, superimposed photographs cut from magazines. A lifelong pacifist and staunch Communist, he moved to East Berlin in 1950, and anglicized his name as a gesture of sympathy with America. John Heartfield (June 19…

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John Heathcoat

Inventor, born in Duffield, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He designed a machine for making lace (patented in 1809), and set up a factory in Nottingham which was destroyed in 1816 by the Luddites. He then moved his business to Tiverton in Devon, installing greatly improved machines. He also invented machinery to make ribbon and net, and devised methods of winding raw silk from cocoons. He later became…

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John Henry

The hero of an American ballad, who pits himself against a steam drill, and succeeds in crushing more rock than the machine, but dies from the effort. He is known as ‘the black Paul Bunyan’. Real people: Works of fiction: …

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John Henry Faulk - Books, Plays, Further reading

Folklorist and radio performer, born in Austin, Texas, USA. He was a folksy Southern storyteller whose radio and television career, by then based in New York City, was destroyed by the McCarthyism of the 1950s, when he was falsely accused of little more than being opposed to anti-Communists. His successful libel suit (1962) effectively ended blacklisting in the entertainment industry. He wrote Fea…

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John Henry Foley

Sculptor, born in Dublin, Ireland. He went to London in 1834, and executed many statues of public figures, including that of Prince Albert for the Albert Memorial. Other major commissions were statues of Edmund Burke and Goldsmith at Trinity College, Dublin, and Henry Grattan on College Green, Dublin. He also designed for the O'Connell Monument in Dublin. John Henry Foley (born May 24, 1818…

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John Henry Taylor

Golfer, born in Northam, Devon, SW England, UK. He was the first Englishman to win the British Open championship (1894, 1895, 1900, 1909, 1913), previously dominated by Scots. He also won the French Open twice, and the German Open once. He was a founder and first president of the British Professional Golfer's Association. John Henry Taylor (March 19, 1871 Devon – February 10, 1963) was an…

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John Henry Twachtman

Painter and etcher, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. He began as a window-shade decorator and studied under Frank Duveneck at the McMicken School of Design, Cincinnati, OH (1871). After study in Munich (1875–7), and living in Venice (1877) and Paris (1883–5), he returned to settle in Greenwich, CT (1889). His work was influenced by James Whistler and Impressionism, as seen in ‘Araques-la-Bataille…

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John Henry Whitley - Family and early career, Political career, BBC

Politician, born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Clifton and London University, and became Liberal MP for Halifax (1900–28). He was Speaker of the House (1921–8) during the difficult period which culminated in the General Strike. He also presided over the committee that proposed (1917) industrial councils for joint consultation between employers and employees, since name…

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John Henry Wigmore

Law educator, born in San Francisco, California, USA. He studied at Harvard, was fluent in many languages, and taught law in Tokyo (1889–92). In 1893 he became a law professor at Northwestern University, becoming dean of its law school (1901–29). He was noted for his prolific legal writings, chief of which is Treatise on the Anglo-American System of Evidence (10 vols, 1904–5; 3rd edn 1940). He …

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John Hewson - Early working life, Entry into Politics, After politics

Australian politician and economist, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. He studied at the University of Sydney and Johns Hopkins University, USA, worked as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and to a range of business and industrial concerns, and became professor of economics at the University of New South Wales (1978–87). He entered federal politics in 1987, and was shad…

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John Higgins - Tournament wins, Links

Snooker player, born in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He turned professional in 1992, and became known in 1994–5 when he was the first teenager to win three ranking events in a season. His wins include the German Open (1995, 1997), the British Open (1995, 1998, 2004), the European Open (1997), the UK Championship (2000), and the LG Cup (2005). His win in the Embassy World Championship (1998) gav…

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John Hope Franklin - Biography, Public Service, Books by John Hope Franklin (Partial List), Reference

Historian, born in Rentiesville, Oklahoma, USA. He studied at Fisk University and did his graduate work at Harvard, taught at colleges in North Carolina, and joined the faculty of Howard University (1947). That same year he published his pathbreaking study, From Slavery to Freedom: A History of American Negroes. He became chairman of the history department of Brooklyn College (1956–64), professor…

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John Horne Tooke

Radical politician, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became a lawyer, and in 1760 a vicar. In 1771 he formed the Constitutional Society, supporting the American colonists and parliamentary reform. His spirited opposition to an enclosure bill procured him the favour of the rich Mr Tooke of Purley in Surrey, which led to his new surname and The Diversions of Purley (1786), written wh…

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John Houseman - Trivia

Stage and film director, producer, and actor, born in Bucharest, Romania. Educated in England, he arrived in the USA (1925) representing his father's grain business. He began to devote himself to writing and translating, then moved over to the theatre, coming to notice with his directorial debut, Four Saints in Three Acts (1934). He joined the Federal Theater Project, then co-founded with Orson We…

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John Howard - Early life, Rising politician, Success, failure, success, Prime Minister

Prison reformer, born in London, UK. While travelling in Europe he was captured by the French, and spent some time in prison at Brest. In 1773 he became high sheriff for Bedfordshire, and began a series of tours in which he investigated the condition of prisons and prisoners. As a result, two acts were passed in 1774, one providing for fixed salaries to jailers, and the other enforcing cleanliness…

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John Howard Payne

Actor, playwright and composer, born in New York City, New York, USA. Enamoured of the stage as a youth, he debuted as an actor in 1809 and enjoyed a string of successes that included being the first American to play Hamlet (1809). He spent the years 1813–32 mainly in England and France, where he had only modest success as an actor and playwright. Among his many plays and adaptations were some 10…

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John Hubbard Sturgis

Architect, born in Macao. His Boston partnership (1866–88) with Charles Brigham (1841–1925) was best known for residential designs and interiors, and they introduced the English Arts and Crafts tradition to Boston. John Hubbard Sturgis (August 5, 1834 - February 14, 1888) was an American architect active in the Boston area. Sturgis was born in Macao, China, the son of Russell …

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John Hughlings Jackson

Neurologist, born in Green Hammerton, North Yorkshire, N England, UK. Physician at the National Hospital for the Paralysed and Epileptic (1862–1906), and at the London Hospital (1874–94), he investigated unilateral epileptiform seizures, and discovered that certain regions of the brain are associated with certain movements of the limbs. John Hughlings Jackson, FRS (March 4, 1835 - October…

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John Hull

Merchant and goldsmith, born in England, UK. He went to Boston in 1635, where he became the mintmaster for Massachusetts (1652), coined the colony's pine-tree emblem shillings (1662), and served as treasurer (1676–80) to the colony. Unusually, he is both a very well respected researcher in the academic field of quantitative finance (see for example the Hull-White model), and also the autho…

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John Hume - Beginnings, Political career, Reputation, Retirement, Further reading, Quotes

Northern Ireland politician, born in Londonderry, Co Londonderry, NW Northern Ireland, UK. He studied at the National University of Ireland, and was a founder member of the Credit Union Party, which was a forerunner to the Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP). He sat in the Northern Ireland parliament (1969–72) and the Northern Ireland Assembly (1972–3), and became widely respected as a moderat…

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John Humphrey Noyes - Life, Legacy, Works

Minister and social reformer, born in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA. A first cousin of President Rutherford B Hayes, he was inspired by revivalist preacher Charles Grandison Finney, and he abandoned law to study divinity, eventually at Yale. Founding a revivalist ‘free’ church there, he maintained that Christ's Second Coming had already occurred and that some beings could now live in ‘perfect’ hol…

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John Hunt Morgan - Early life and career, Civil War

Confederate guerrilla leader, born in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. He joined the army in 1846 and saw action in the Mexican War. During the 1850s he ran a business, but enlisted in the Confederate army in 1861, attaining the rank of captain. He led the Morgan raiders in a series of raids on Union supply lines, and was promoted to colonel and then brigadier-general. He is remembered for his attacks in…

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John Hunter

Physiologist and surgeon, born in Long Calderwood, East Kilbride, WC Scotland, UK. He worked in the dissecting room (1748–59) as assistant to his brother, William Hunter, studied surgery at Chelsea Hospital and St Bartholomew's, became house-surgeon at St George's (1756), and lecturer for his brother in the anatomical school. One of his pupils was Edward Jenner. He served in the army as staff-sur…

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John Hurt - Selected filmography

Actor, born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, C England, UK. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his stage debut in 1962 at the Arts Theatre, London. He won an Emmy Award for playing the part of Quentin Crisp in the television play The Naked Civil Servant (1975), and BAFTA awards for Midnight Express (1978) and The Elephant Man (1980). Later TV work includes Bait (2002) and The Ala…

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John (of Castile I and Le

King of Castile and León (1379–90), the son of Henry II of Castile. He attacked Portugal to defeat the alliance created by King Ferdinand of Portugal and John of Gaunt, who had a claim to the throne of Castile through his wife. Ferdinand made peace in 1382 and gave his daughter to John I in marriage. After Ferdinand's death (1383), John I again made war with Portugal, but was defeated at Aljubar…

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John II

King of France (1350–64), the son of Philip VI, born near Le Mans, NW France. In 1356 he was taken prisoner by Edward the Black Prince at the Battle of Poitiers, and brought to England. After the treaty of Brétigny (1360) he returned home, leaving his second son, the Duke of Anjou, as a hostage. When the duke broke his parole and escaped (1363), John chivalrously returned to London, and died the…

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John J(acob) Abel

Biochemist and physiologist, born near Cleveland, Ohio, USA. He studied at Johns Hopkins University (1883–4) and in Europe (1884–91), taught at the University of Michigan (1891–3), then returned to Johns Hopkins as professor of pharmacology (1893–1932). He founded several professional journals and made major advances in the fields of endocrinology, toxicology, and tetanus research. His experim…

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John J(oseph) Pershing

US soldier, born near Laclede, Missouri, USA. The son of a railroad worker turned merchant, he trained at West Point (1886), and after several years of cavalry service on the frontier he taught military science (and fencing) at the University of Nebraska. He then went to teach at West Point, where he gained his nickname because he had commanded a black cavalry unit in Montana. He left West Point t…

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John Jackson

Boxer, born in London, UK. He won the English heavyweight boxing championship in 1795, and retired undefeated in 1803 after only three defences of his title. After his retirement he started a school of self-defence in London, where one of his pupils was Lord Byron, who celebrated him in verse. John Jackson may refer to: Politics: Science: Arts: …

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John Jacob Astor - Biography

Fur trader, real estate investor, and millionaire, the founder of the Astor family, born in Waldorf, near Heidelberg, W Germany. He moved to England at age 16 and then to New York City (1784). He worked at various jobs but soon entered the fur trade and owned his own business by 1786. The leading merchant in the North American fur trade by 1800, he gained access to the China trade and invested hea…

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John Jacob Astor - Biography

Financier and inventor, born in Rhinebeck, New York, USA, the great-grandson of John Jacob Astor. He built the Astoria section of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1897. He served in the Spanish-American War, and as an inventor designed a bicycle brake and an improved turbine engine. He went down with the Titanic after a notable display of courage and gallantry. John Jacob (originally either Joh…

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John Jacob Niles - Books by Niles

Folksinger and song collector, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. After musical training in the USA and France, he studied Southern Appalachian and other folk music, publishing hundreds of songs and performing internationally. Niles learned music theory from his mother, and began writing down folk music as a teenager. He became a serious student of Appalachian folk music by transcribing tra…

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John James Audubon - Biography, Bibliography

Painter and naturalist, born in Les Cayes, Haiti. The illegitimate son of a French sea captain and merchant, Jean Audubon, and a Creole woman, he was taken to France and legally adopted by Audubon and his wife (1794). He began drawing birds as a teenager (but few now accept his claim that he studied under David in Paris). In 1803 he moved to his father's estate near Philadelphia, where he spent hi…

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John James Ingalls

US senator, born in Middleton, Massachusetts, USA. Settling in Kansas territory in 1858, he was among those who framed the Kansas state constitution and he was elected to the US Senate (Republican, Kansas, 1873–92). Renowned for his oratory, he was president pro tem of the Senate in 1889–91. John James Ingalls (December 29, 1833 – August 16, 1900) was an American politician. …

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John Jay - Early life, Roles in the American Revolution, Diplomat, Abolition of Slavery, Secretary of Foreign Affairs

US statesman and diplomat, born in New York City, New York, USA. He practised law before entering the First Continental Congress (1774). Originally opposed to outright independence, he changed his view after the Declaration of Independence (1776). He wrote New York's first constitution (1777) and served as president of the Second Continental Congress (1778–9) before becoming ambassador to Spain, …

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John Jay Chapman

Man of letters, born in New York City, New York, USA. Independently wealthy, he published poems, plays, translations, and essays renowned for critical power and stylistic grace. Edmund Wilson called him ‘the best writer on literature of his generation’. John Jay Chapman (1862-1933) was an American author, born in New York City. He was the author of: …

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John Jewel

Clergyman, born in Berrynarbor, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and absorbed reformed doctrines early in his career. On Mary I's accession he travelled through Europe, staying in Frankfurt, Zürich, Strasbourg, and Padua, returning to England when Elizabeth I became queen. He was appointed Bishop of Salisbury in 1560, and published his famous Apologia pro ecclesiae Anglicanae (Apologi…

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John Joly

Geologist and physicist, born in Holywood, Co Down, SE Northern Ireland, UK. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, where he became professor of geology and mineralogy in 1897. He invented a photometer in 1888, calculated the age of the Earth (as 100 million years) by measuring the sodium content of the sea, and pointed out that radioactivity provides a source of terrestrial heating. With Walter S…

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John K(nudsen) Northrop

Aircraft designer and manufacturer, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. He began as a project engineer for the Loughead Aircraft Co in 1916, continued with Douglas Aircraft Co, and was a co-founder and chief engineer of the Lockheed Aircraft Co of Burbank, CA (1927–8). He was vice-president and chief engineer of the Northrop Corporation, a subsidiary of Douglas Aircraft (1933–7), and became preside…

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John Kay

Inventor, born near Bury, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He took charge of his father's woollen mill, made many improvements to the machinery, and obtained a patent for a device for twisting and cording mohair and worsted (1730). In 1733 he patented his flying shuttle, one of the most important inventions in the history of textile machinery. The new shuttle was eagerly adopted by weavers, but…

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John Keats - Life, Career and criticism, Bibliography

Poet, born in London, UK. Educated at Enfield, he was apprenticed to a surgeon and became a dresser at Guy's Hospital, London. Leigh Hunt introduced him to other young Romantics, including Shelley, and published his first sonnets in the Examiner (1816). His first book of poems was published in 1817. His long mythological poem Endymion (1818) was attacked by the critics as the writing of an ignoran…

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John Keble - Keble College

Anglican clergyman and poet, born in Fairford, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He studied at Oxford, was ordained in 1816, and became a college tutor (1818–23) and professor of poetry (1831–41). In 1827 his book of poems on the liturgical calendar, The Christian Year, was widely circulated. His sermon on ‘National apostasy’ (1833) began the Oxford Movement, encouraging a return to High Churc…

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John Kennedy Toole - Life, Works, Bibliography

Novelist, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. His novel A Confederacy of Dunces (1980), published 11 years after he committed suicide, won critical acclaim, and was awarded the 1981 Pulitzer Prize. The Neon Bible was published in 1989. John Kennedy Toole (December 17, 1937 – March 26, 1969) was an American novelist from New Orleans, Louisiana, best known for his novel A Confederacy of Du…

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John Kenneth Galbraith - Life, Works

Economist, born in Iona Station, Ontario, SE Canada. He studied economics at the universities of California, Berkeley, and Cambridge, England, and became professor of economics at Harvard (1948–75, then emeritus), where he spent his career, except for a short period at Princeton, wartime service in Washington, and two years (1961–3) as US ambassador to India. He was a key adviser to presidents K…

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John Kerr - Kerr's career, Kerr as Governor-General, The 1975 crisis, The dismissal, Further reading

Physicist, born in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, W Scotland, UK. He studied at Glasgow, where he was an assistant to Lord Kelvin. He then became a lecturer in mathematics at a teachers' training college, where he carried out research on light passing through electromagnetic fields, and discovered the effect that is now named after him. The Rt Hon. Sir John Robert Kerr, AK, GCMG, GCVO (24 Septe…

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John King

Traveller, born in Moy, Co Tyrone, W Northern Ireland, UK. He was a member of the Burke and Wills expedition which set out from Melbourne in 1860; four members of the expedition reached the tidal marshes of the Flinders R at the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria. On the way back, three of them, including Burke and Wills, died of starvation; the fourth man, John King, was given succour by the Aborigi…

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John Kirtland Wright

Geographer, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He grew up in an academic atmosphere and as a child came to know William Morris Davis, the Harvard professor who more than any other American provided a disciplined structure for geography. Wright studied geography and history at Harvard, and at the graduate level was allowed to offer the history of geographical knowledge as his special field; his…

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John Knowles Paine - notes and references, Works

Composer, born in Portland, Maine, USA. After training in Germany (1857–61), he returned to take up at Harvard the first chair of music in an American university (1862–1905). One of the ‘Boston Classic’ school, he composed high-toned music in a European style, such as his Symphony No 2 (1880). John Knowles Paine (January 9, 1839 - April 25, 1906), was the first American-born composer to…

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John Knox - Early life, Conversion to Protestantism, Confinement in the French galleys, Residence in England

Protestant reformer, born near Haddington, East Lothian, E Scotland, UK. A Catholic priest, he acted as a notary in Haddington (1540–3), and in 1544 was influenced by George Wishart to work for the Lutheran reformation. After Wishart was burned (1546), Knox joined the reformers defending the castle of St Andrews, and became a minister. After the castle fell to the French, he was kept a prisoner u…

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John Kruesi

Inventor and electrical engineer, born in Heiden, Switzerland. In 1871, under Thomas Edison, he began work on telegraphy, telephones, and microphones, and produced the first phonograph (1877). He perfected another idea of Edison's, to insulate wire so it could be laid underground. He became superintendent of the Edison laboratories, and in 1892 the general manager of General Electric. John …

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John Kundla

Basketball coach, born in Star Junction, Pennsylvania, USA. He coached the Minneapolis Lakers for 11 years (1949–59), and led his club to four National Basketball Association titles (1950, 1952–4). He later coached at the University of Minnesota (1960–8). …

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John LaFarge - LaFarge's writings include:

Catholic priest and social activist, born in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. A Jesuit who did pastoral work among African-American Catholics in Maryland (1911–26), he devoted much of his later life to promoting racial justice and interracial co-operation through a network of Catholic interracial councils, and as a writer and long-time editor (1926–63) for the Jesuit magazine America. John LaF…

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John Laurance

US representative and senator, born in Cornwall, SW England, UK. Arriving in America (1767), he became a lawyer and the son-in-law of Alexander MacDougall. He served as judge advocate-general of the Continental army during the American Revolution, and presided over the trial of Major John Andre. He was a member of the Continental Congress (1785–7), and as a Federalist from New York he served in t…

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John Ledyard - Captain Cook's third voyage, The fur trade, Overland around the world, African expedition

Explorer and adventurer, born in Groton, Connecticut, USA. He joined a British regiment and sailed with Captain James Cook (1776–80). Back in London, he refused to fight against the American colonists so he spent two years confined to barracks (1780–2). He had seen the possibility of a fur trade in NW North America and spent several years unsuccessfully trying to organize expeditions there. In 1…

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John Lee Hooker - Biography, Music

Musician, born in Clarksdale, Missouri, USA. A blues singer and guitarist, he began his career in Detroit in 1948 with the release of ‘Boogie Chillun’, the biggest of his several hit records and a staple of both the blues and rock repertoires. He toured continually, and among ‘deep blues’ artists enjoyed an unusually successful career, appearing in concerts and on recordings with many of the l…

less than 1 minute read

John Leighton Stuart - Early life, Missionary and academic, Legacy

Protestant missionary and educator, born in Hangchow, China. The son of Presbyterian missionaries, he graduated from Hampden-Sydney College, was ordained a Presbyterian minister, and returned to China in 1904. He was a professor at Nanking Theological Seminary (1908–19) and in the latter year he became first president of Yenching University in Peking. Named US ambassador to China (1946), he retur…

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John Leland - Early life, Royal appointment, Works, Other references to John Leland

Antiquary, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge and Oxford. After a stay in Paris he became chaplain to Henry VIII, who in 1533 made him ‘king's antiquary’, with power to search for records of antiquity in the cathedrals, colleges, abbeys, and priories of England. He became insane in 1550. Most of his papers are in the Bodleian and British Museum, one of his chief works being The Itinerar…

less than 1 minute read

John Lilburne - Early life, Unlicensed publishing, "Freeborn John", English Civil War, Agitation, Putney debates, Written Constitution, Quaker

Pamphleteer and extreme Leveller (Puritan), probably born in Greenwich, EC Greater London, UK, but with family origins in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. In 1638 he imported illegal Puritan literature from Holland, for which he was whipped, and imprisoned until 1640 by the Star Chamber. He was a captain in the Parliamentary army in the Civil War (1642), but resigned in 1645 over the Covenant. He became…

less than 1 minute read

John Lindley

Botanist and horticulturalist, born in Catton, Norfolk, E England, UK. He was appointed assistant secretary to the Horticultural Society of London in 1827, and was professor of botany at University College London (1829–60). In 1828 he prepared a report on the royal gardens at Kew which saved them from destruction, and this led to the creation of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The most important of hi…

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John Lloyd Stephens - Early life, Politics, Contribution to Mesoamerican studies, Contribution to the Panama railroad, Bibliography

Traveller, writer, and promoter, born in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, USA. A New York lawyer, he began a series of exotic journeys in 1834, and through his books became known as the ‘American traveller’. He wrote Incidents of Travel in Egypt, Arabia Petraea and the Holy Land (1837) and Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia, and Poland (1838). During 1839–41 he travelled in Central America an…

less than 1 minute read

John Locke - Life, Influence, List of major works, Locke's epitaph

Philosopher, born in Wrington, Somerset. He studied at Oxford, and in 1667 joined the household of Anthony Ashley Cooper, later first Earl of Shaftesbury, gaining through him a succession of official appointments and meeting the leading intellectuals of the day, including Robert Boyle. In 1672, Locke became secretary of the Board of Trade, lived in France for health reasons (1675–9), then moved t…

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John Logie Baird - Birth and education, Television experiments, Other inventions, Legacy

Electrical engineer and television pioneer, born in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, W Scotland, UK. He studied electrical engineering at Glasgow University, later settling in Hastings (1922), where he began research into the possibilities of television. In 1926 he gave the first demonstration of a television image. His 30-line mechanically scanned system was adopted by the BBC in 1929, being superse…

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John Lorimer Worden - Background and early career, Civil War service, Post-war career and last years

US naval officer, born in Westchester Co, New York, USA. He commanded the new ironclad USS Monitor in its epic but indecisive battle with the CSS Virginia in 1862, and was temporarily blinded during the battle. He later became the superintendent of the Naval Academy (1869–74) and commander of the European Squadron (1875–7). John Lorimer Worden (12 March 1818 – 19 October 1897) was a U.S…

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John Lothrop Motley - Selected works

Historian and diplomat, born in Dorchester (now part of Boston), Massachusetts, USA. The son of a wealthy family, he graduated from Harvard (1831), then spent several years in Germany, Britain, and elsewhere in Europe, where he got to know the intellectual and political elite, including Otto von Bismarck. Back in Boston (1835) he married and decided on a literary career. His first two novels were …

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John Loudon McAdam - Legacy

Inventor of macadamized roads, born in Ayr, South Ayrshire, SW Scotland, UK. He went to New York City in 1770, where he made a fortune in his uncle's counting-house. On his return in 1783 he bought an estate and started experimenting with new methods of road construction. In 1816 he was appointed surveyor to the Bristol Turnpike Trust, re-made the roads there with crushed stone bound with gravel, …

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John Lydgate - Early life and education, Patronage, Talent

Monk and poet, born in Lidgate, Suffolk, E England, UK. He may have studied at Oxford and Cambridge. He became a Benedictine monk at Bury St Edmunds, and in 1423 was made prior of Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex. A court poet, his longer moralistic works include The Troy Book (1412–20), The Story of Thebes (1420), and Falls of Princes (1430–8). He also wrote devotional, philosophical, scientific, hist…

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John Lyly

Writer, born in the Weald of Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Oxford and Cambridge, and was MP for a while (1597–1601). He is remembered for the style of his writing, as seen in his two-part prose romance Euphues (1578, 1580). This work gave rise to the term euphuism, referring to an artificial and extremely elegant language, with much use made of complex similes and antithesis. Among his play…

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John Lyon

Philanthropist, and yeoman land-owner of the estate of Preston, Middlesex, regarded as the founder of the great public school of Harrow. Relatively prosperous but childless, he used his money for the endowment of local charities. In 1572 he obtained a royal charter from Elizabeth I for the pre-Reformation school at Harrow, which he supported with endowments to guarantee its continuation. In 1590 h…

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John Macquarrie

Theologian and philosopher of religion, born in Renfrew, Renfrewshire, W Scotland, UK. A lecturer at Glasgow (1953–62), and professor at Union Theological Seminary, New York (1962–70) and Oxford (1970–86), he has written extensively across the whole field of theology. Out of his many works the influence of Bultmann and Tillich may be traced in An Existentialist Theology (1955) and Principles of…

less than 1 minute read

John Malkovich - Biography, Political views, Selected filmography, Director - filmography, Resources

Film actor, born in Benton, Illinois, USA. He studied at the University of Illinois, then joined the Steppenwolf theatre company in Chicago. He won an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Places in The Heart (1984), and later films include Empire of the Sun (1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Con Air (1997), and the ingenious Being John Malkovich (1999). Among further films ar…

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John Marshall - Early years, State political career, Federal political career, Supreme Court career

Judge, born in Prince William (now Fauquier) Co, Virginia, USA. Born in a log cabin, with little formal education, he fought in the American Revolution and studied law briefly (1779–80) before setting up a practice and getting elected to the Virginia legislature (1782). An outspoken advocate of the Federalists' position on the need for a strong central government, he was asked by President George…

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John Marshall Harlan - Biographical Information, Tenure at the Supreme Court, Death and Legacy

Judge, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The grandson of Supreme Court justice John M Harlan (1833–1911), he held a number of public positions before President Eisenhower named him to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1954–5) and then to the US Supreme Court (1955–71). John Marshall Harlan (June 1, 1833 – October 14, 1911) was an American Supreme Court associate justice. …

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John Marston - Life, Reception and Criticism, Works

Playwright and satirist, born in Wardington, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and wrote several plays which were published between 1602 and 1607, notably The Malcontent (1604), and Eastward Ho! (1605), a satirical comedy written in conjunction with Chapman and Jonson. In 1607 he gave up playwriting, took orders (1609), and held the living of Christ Church, Hampshire (1616–31). …

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John Martin

Dance critic and writer, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Appointed as the first dance critic for the New York Times (1927), he championed non-traditional dance in his reviews and essays until his retirement in 1962. He wrote several dance books including the classic, The Modern Dance. John Martin may refer to: …

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John Mason

American soldier and public official, born in England, UK. He emigrated to Massachusetts c.1633, and as a militia leader he broke the power of the Pequot Indian tribe with an attack on an encampment at Mystic, CT (1637), in which more than 600 Pequots, including women and children, were slaughtered. He later served as a magistrate and as deputy governor of Connecticut. Mason drew up the fir…

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John Mason Neale

Hymnologist, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became warden of Sackville College, East Grinstead. An advanced High Churchman, he wrote many books on Church history, but is remembered chiefly for his hymns, and many of his translations are cherished worldwide. Among his best-known pieces are ‘Jerusalem the golden’ and ‘O happy band of pilgrims’. John Mason Neale (January …

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John McCarthy

Mathematician and computer specialist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He was affiliated with Dartmouth (1955–8), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1958–62), and Stanford (1962). He is considered one of the fathers of artificial intelligence, having developed the programming language LISP (1958–62), and he helped develop ALGOL. He also did early work in robotics (1969). John…

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John McDuffie

US representative, born in River Ridge, Alabama, USA. Tutored at home, he was a lawyer (1908–19) and congressman (Democrat, Alabama, 1919–35), serving as minority and majority whip before becoming US district court judge in Alabama (1935–50). John McDuffie (September 25, 1883 - November 1, 1950) was born in River Ridge, Alabama in Monroe County on September 25, 1883. He later attended Al…

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John McGahern - Life, Works, Bibliography, External Links

Novelist and short-story writer, born in Dublin, Ireland. His novels include The Barracks (1963), The Leave Taking (1975), and That They May Face the Rising Sun (2003). Amongst Women (1990) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and was televised as a four-part series in 1998. Other work includes a volume of Collected Stories (1992), and he also edited the letters of Yeats (1999). All Will Be Well:…

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John McKinley

Judge, born in Culpeper Co, Virginia, USA. He served the Alabama legislature (1820, 1831), the US Senate (Democrat, Alabama, 1826, 1836), and the US House of Representatives (Democrat, Alabama, 1832). He was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Martin Van Buren (1838–52). John McKinley (May 1, 1780-July 19, 1852) was a U.S. senator from the state of Alabama and an associate justi…

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John McLaughlin

Electric guitarist and composer, born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, N England, UK. He played with British blues, rock, and free-jazz groups before moving to the USA. In 1969 he played with Miles Davis on two influential jazz-rock albums, Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way, and from 1971 led the Mahavishnu Orchestra, starting a movement of jazz and rock fusion with Indian rhythms. He has since devel…

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John McLean

US representative and Supreme Court justice, born in Morris Co, New Jersey, USA. His career included service in the US House of Representatives (Democrat, Ohio, 1812–16) and as an Ohio Supreme Court judge (1816–22). As postmaster general (1823–9), he streamlined the national postal system. He was named to the US Supreme Court by President Andrew Jackson (1830–61). John McLean (March 11,…

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John McLoughlin - Biography

Fur merchant, born in Rivière du Loup, Quebec, Canada. Of Scottish-Irish descent, he studied medicine in Scotland and then came back to join the Canadian North West Fur Co, becoming a partner in 1814. When this company merged with the Hudson's Bay Co (1821), he was placed in charge (1825–46) of the far western region (including the present-day states of Washington and Oregon), whose capital was …

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John Mercer Langston

Educator and public official, born in Louisa Co, Virginia, USA. The son of a plantation owner and his emancipated slave, he was educated at Oberlin College (1849 BA), where he read theology and law, passing the Ohio bar exams in 1854. Elected as township clerk (1855), he became the first African-American elected to public office. During the Civil War, he worked to recruit black troops and after th…

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John Merle Coulter

Botanist, born in Ningpo, China. A child of missionary parents, he was taken to Indiana by his mother in 1853 after his father's death. Originally a geologist, he brought back plant specimens after serving with the US Geological Survey in the Rocky Mountains (1872–3). He became a professor of botany at Hanover College (1874–9), and founded the Botanical Gazette (1875), which became a leading Ame…

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John Michell - Some of Michell's contributions

Geologist, born in Nottinghamshire, C England, UK. A fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, and professor of geology (1762–64), he described a method of magnetization, founded the science of seismology, and is credited with the invention of the torsion balance. In 1767 he retired as rector to Thornhill in West Yorkshire where he devoted the rest of his life to science, particularly astronomy. Shor…

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John Middleton Murry - Selected Works

Writer and critic, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became editor of Rhythm. He then edited the Athenaeum (1919–21), and wrote poetry and many volumes of essays and criticism which had a strong influence on the young intellectuals of the 1920s. In 1918 he married Katherine Mansfield, and introduced her work in the Adelphi, another literary magazine, of which he was founder and editor…

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John Milton - Life, Career, Trivia

Poet, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and spent six years of studious leisure at Horton, which he regarded as preparation for his life's work as a poet. There he wrote L'Allegro and Il Penseroso (1632), the masque, Comus (1633), and Lycidas (1637). He concluded his formal education with a visit to Italy (1638–9). The fame of his Latin poems had preceded him, and he was received in th…

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John Mitchell

Labour leader, born in Braidwood, Illinois, USA. Having worked in coal mines from the age of 12, he joined the Knights of Labour in 1885. He was a founding member of the United Mine Workers (1890), helped in its first successful national strike (1897), and served as the president (1899–1908), a period in which the union expanded its membership tenfold. He was chairman of the New York State Indust…

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John Moresby - Publications

Naval commander and explorer, born in Allerford, Somerset, SW England, UK. He conducted exploration and survey work in New Guinea, where he discovered the fine natural harbour now fronted by Port Moresby, which he named after his father, Sir Fairfax Moresby (1786–1877), the admiral of the fleet. Captain John Moresby (15 March 1830-12 July 1922) was a British Naval Officer who explored the …

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John Morgan - Per profession, Per full name

Physician, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. After serving an apprenticeship under the great John Redman of Philadelphia, he continued his medical studies in Great Britain and Italy. On returning, he took the lead in founding the medical school at the College of Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania) in 1765. Joining the faculty, he wrote his influential Discourse Upon the Institution of…

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John Morton - Morton and the history of Richard III

Statesman and cardinal, probably born in Milborne St Andrew, Dorset, S England, UK. He practised as a lawyer, and strongly supported Henry VI, but after the Battle of Tewkesbury made his peace with Edward IV, and became Master of the Rolls (1473) and Bishop of Ely (1479). Richard III imprisoned him in 1483, but he escaped, and after the accession of Henry VII was made Archbishop of Canterbury (148…

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John Muir - Biography, Muir's travels in the Northwest, From studying to protecting, Trivia

Explorer, naturalist, and conservationist, born in Dunbar, East Lothian, E Scotland, UK. Brought by his family to Wisconsin (1849), he grew up on a farm. He studied at the University of Wisconsin (1859–63) but left without a degree as he refused to take the required courses. He was an ingenious inventor of mechanical devices, but he lost an eye (1867) in an industrial accident and so turned to hi…

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John Murray

Universalist clergyman, born in Alton, Hampshire, S England, UK. The son of strict Calvinist parents, he emigrated to the USA (1770) and for two years was an itinerant evangelist preaching a decidedly non-Calvinist doctrine of universal salvation. Considered the founder of Universalism in America, he held pastorates in Gloucester, MA and Boston. He suffered a paralytic stroke in 1809 and spent the…

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John Murray Forbes - Biography

Capitalist, born in Bordeaux, France. At age 15 he entered his uncles' counting-house business in the USA, Perkins and Co, and worked in their China office for seven years. A wealthy and accomplished businessman, he returned to the USA (1846) and began investing in railroad building in the Midwest. During the Civil War he helped organize African-American regiments in Massachusetts and, along with …

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John Nance Garner

US vice-president, congressman, and Speaker of the House (1931–3), born near Detroit, Texas, USA. During his two terms (1933–41) as vice-president under Franklin D Roosevelt he helped obtain early New Deal legislation, but became alarmed at the increase in the executive powers, and unsuccessfully opposed Roosevelt's renomination in 1940. John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner (November 22, 1868 …

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John Napier - Advances in mathematics, Other inventions, Theology, Honours

Mathematician, the inventor of logarithms, born at Merchiston Castle, Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He studied at St Andrews, travelled in Europe, then settled down to a life of literary and scientific study. He described his famous invention in Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio (1614, Description of the Marvellous Canon of Logarithms), and also devised a calculating machine, using a set of …

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John Nash

Architect, born in London, UK. He trained as an architect, practised in London, and gained a reputation by his country-house designs. He came to the notice of the Prince of Wales (the future George IV), and was engaged to plan the layout of the new Regent's Park and its environs of curved terraces (1811–25). He laid out Regent Street to link the Park with Westminster, built Carlton House Terrace,…

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John Nelson Darby - Biography, Later Influence, Quotations, Published works

Clergyman, born in London, UK. He studied at Westminster School and Trinity College, Dublin, and was for a year or two an Anglican clergyman. In 1830 he was the principal founder of the Plymouth Brethren, and in 1840 an exclusive sect of it known as Darbyites. John Nelson Darby, (November 18, 1800 - April 29, 1882) was an Anglo-Irish evangelist, an influential figure among the original Plym…

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John Nevil Maskelyne

Magician, born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He trained as a watchmaker, and built ‘magic boxes’ and automata which he used in his entertainments. He joined forces with George Cooke (d.1904) and they appeared together, first at Cheltenham, then at the Crystal Palace, in 1865. In 1873 they leased the Egyptian Hall for three months, but their tenancy lasted for 31 years. Maskely…

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John Newbery - Best-selling Newbery books

Publisher and bookseller, born in Berkshire, S England, UK. He settled in London in c.1744 as a seller of books and patent medicines. He was the first to publish books specifically for children, and was part-author of some of the best of them, notably Goody Two-Shoes. In 1758 he started the Universal Chronicle, or Weekly Gazette, in which the ‘Idler’ appeared. In the Public Ledger (1760) appeare…

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John Newcombe - Grand Slam results, Grand Slam singles finals, Singles titles in the Open Era (31)

Tennis player, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. He won Wimbledon in 1967, the last year of amateur competition, and went on to win again in 1970 and 1971. As part of an outstanding doubles team with Tony Roache, he won the Wimbledon doubles competition in 1965 and 1968–70. He was also the Australian singles champion in 1973 and 1975. Since retiring from the game, he has worked as a …

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John of Salisbury - Primary sources and further reading

Clergyman and scholar, born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, S England, UK. Educated in Paris under Abelard, he was a clerk to Pope Eugenius III and to Archbishop Theobald at Canterbury, but fell into disfavour with Henry II and retired to Reims, where he wrote Historia pontificalis (c.1163). He returned to England and witnessed Thomas Becket's murder in Canterbury. He became Bishop of Chartres (1176) and…

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John Ogilby - List of 100 plates in Ogilby's 1675 'Britannia' Atlas

Topographer, printer, and map-maker, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. A dancing teacher and theatre owner, he lost everything in the Civil War, but after the Restoration obtained court recognition and became a London publisher. The great fire of 1666 destroyed his stock but got him the job of surveying the gutted sites in the city. He established a thriving printing house and was appointed ‘ki…

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John Opie - Birth and early life

Portraitist and historical painter, born in St Agnes, Cornwall, SW England, UK. His portraits interested his teacher John Wolcot (1738–1819, pseudonym Peter Pindar), by whom he was taken to London in 1789 to become the ‘Cornish Wonder’. He became renowned as a portraitist of contemporary figures, and also painted historical pictures like the well-known ‘Murder of Rizzio’ (1787). He became pro…

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John Ormond

Poet and film-maker, born in Dunvant, Swansea, SC Wales, UK. He studied at University College, Swansea, trained as a journalist, and joined BBC Wales in 1957 as a director and producer of documentary films, including studies of Welsh painters and writers such as Ceri Richards, Dylan Thomas, Alun Lewis, and R S Thomas. He also established a reputation as an Anglo-Welsh poet. John Ormond (192…

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John Paddy Carstairs - Selected filmography

Novelist, film director, filmscript writer, and artist. He studied art at the Slade School of Art, London, painting light-hearted landscapes in various media. His best-known novel is Love and Ella Rafferty (1947), and he also wrote the autobiographical Honest Injun (1943). Aside from directing the 1939 Saint film, The Saint in London, he also directed two episodes of The Saint in the 1960s,…

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John Page

US representative and governor, born in Gloucester Co, Virginia, USA. He fought in the French and Indian Wars and in the Revolutionary Army with George Washington before going to Congress (Republican, Virginia, 1789–97), and later served as Virginia's governor (1802–5). John Page can refer to: …

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John Pascoe Fawkner - Early years, Settlement of Melbourne, Melbourne businessman and politician

Pioneer and founder of Melbourne, born in London, UK. He travelled to Australia with his father, who had been sentenced to transportation. When the colony of Port Phillip was abandoned, the family were shipped to Tasmania. After being involved in various enterprises, John engaged a ship to explore Western Port and Port Phillip Bay on the mainland of Australia, and established a settlement at the m…

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John Paul Jones - Maritime career, In America, Revolutionary command, Russia, Final years, External links

American naval officer and Revolutionary hero, born in Kirkbean, Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland, UK. He went to sea at age 12 and commanded merchant ships in the West Indies. No saint, he engaged in the slave trade and added ‘Jones’ to his name to avoid pursuit after the death of two sailors he had flogged. He went to Philadelphia at the start of the American Revolution and became a senior l…

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John Paul Stevens - Early life, Legal and judicial career, Judicial philosophy, Criticism and praise, Trivia

Judge, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. After several years in private practice, he was named by President Nixon to the US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit (1970–5). President Ford named him to the US Supreme Court (1975), where he became known as a moderate. John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is an American jurist, and the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United S…

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John Peabody Harrington

Linguist and anthropologist, born in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. His interest in the languages of Native Americans began while an undergraduate at Stanford University (1905 BA). During 1909–15 he studied Indian languages as an ethnologist at the School of American Archaeology in Santa Fe, NM, and in 1915 he joined the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology, from which he retired in 1954. …

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John Peale Bishop - Selected works

Poet and writer, born in Charles Town, West Virginia, USA. He studied at Princeton (1913–17) and published his first book of poetry, Green Fruit (1917), before serving in the army (1917–19). After working as managing editor for Vanity Fair (1920–22), he travelled in Europe (1922–4), settled in France, and befriended English and American expatriate writers. He returned to America (1933) and set…

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John Peel - Early life, United States, Beginning of British career, BBC career, Dandelion Records and Strange Fruit

Radio disc jockey and presenter, born in Heswall, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, and after completing his national service (1957–9) he went to America and became a disc jockey for Radio WRR in Dallas. He returned to England in 1967 and joined pirate radio station Radio London for a time, presenting a late night show The Perfumed Garden where he championed Britis…

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John Pell

Mathematician and clergyman, born in Southwick, West Sussex, S England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and was appointed professor of mathematics at Amsterdam in 1643, and lecturer at the New College, Breda, in 1646. Employed by Oliver Cromwell, he went to Switzerland in an attempt to persuade Swiss Protestants to join a Continental Protestant league led by England. In 1661 he became rector at Fobbi…

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John Perkins Cushing

Merchant and philanthropist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The nephew of Thomas H Perkins, at the age of 16 he became head of Perkins & Co, his uncle's trading company in China. He conducted business affairs admirably (1803–30) and returned to Boston with a Chinese manner as well as Chinese servants. He built a conservatory, and his yacht, The Sylph, won the earliest recorded American yacht…

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John Peter Altgeld - Early years, Political life, Final years

Reformer and US governor, born in Niederselters, W Germany. Brought to Ohio as a baby, he received little schooling while working on his father's farm. A Union private in the Civil War (1864–5), he then taught in Ohio, moving to Missouri where he became a lawyer (1871) and a county attorney (1874–5). Moving to Chicago, he began his own law practice, making a fortune in real estate. He wrote Our …

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John Peter Zenger - Overview, Publications

Printer and journalist, born in Germany. He emigrated to New York and formed a printing partnership. As editor of the New York Weekly Journal, he was arrested and tried for libellous statements against the administration of Governor William Cosby. The sentence of not guilty was the first major victory for the freedom of the press. John Peter Zenger (October 26, 1697 – July 28, 1746) was a…

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John Philip Kemble

Actor, born in Prescot, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He trained for the priesthood at Sedgley Park, Staffordshire, and the English college at Douai, but became an actor, making his first appearance at Wolverhampton (1776). The success of his sister, Sarah Siddons, gave him the opportunity to play Hamlet at Drury Lane. He continued to play leading tragic characters at Drury Lane for many years, and …

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John Philip Sousa - Early life, Music, Sousa the Freemason, Other writing, skills, and interests, Media

Composer and bandmaster, born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. His early training as a conductor was gained with theatre orchestras, and in 1880 he became conductor of the US Marine Band. His own band, formed 12 years later, won an international reputation. As well as more than 100 popular marches, including ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever’ (1896) and ‘The Liberty Bell’ (1893), he comp…

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John Philpot Curran - Career, Private life, Quotations, His witticisms

Lawyer and orator, born in Newmarket, Co Cork, S Ireland. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and Middle Temple, London, and was called to the Irish bar in 1775, where he earned a considerable reputation for his wit and powers of advocacy. He entered the Irish parliament in 1783, and strongly opposed the Union, which he described as ‘the annihilation of Ireland’. He later became Master of the…

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John Pickering

Linguist, philologist, and attorney, born in Salem, Massachusetts, USA, the son of Timothy Pickering. He graduated from Harvard (1796) and spent several years in Europe with the United States Diplomatic Corps. After returning to Masssachusetts, he practised law and served in the state senate. He wrote many books and articles on language, including the first collection of American word usages (1816…

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John Pierpont Morgan - Games and toys, Fictions, Movies, Flags

Financier and philanthropist, born in Irvington, New York, USA. Shortly after graduating from Harvard he married and became a partner in his father's firm, J P Morgan & Co. In London (1893–1901) he studied banking at his grandfather's firm, J S Morgan & Co. At his father's death (1913), Jack became president and positioned the firm as the sole purchasing agent of more than $3 billion of arms and …

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John Playfair - Early life, Mature work, Family, Honours, Critical bibliography

Mathematician and geologist, born in Benvie, Dundee, E Scotland, UK. He studied at St Andrews University, became joint professor of mathematics at Edinburgh (1785), and professor of natural philosophy (1805). He wrote an important textbook on geometry, and also investigated glaciation and the formation of river valleys. Playfair was professor of mathematics and later professor of natural ph…

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John Pope

US soldier, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. A West Point graduate (1842) and Mexican War veteran, he did valuable survey work with the Army topographical engineers in the SW and W. Staying with the Union, he led the Army of the Mississippi in a campaign that opened the great river nearly to Memphis (1862). This success, plus the siege of Corinth, brought him to the attention of President Lincol…

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John Pounds

Shoemaker, born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, S England, UK. Physically handicapped, he became an unpaid teacher of poor children, and is regarded as the founder of what came to be called ‘ragged schools’ in England and Scotland. John Pounds (June 17, 1766 - 1839) was a teacher and altruist born in Portsmouth in 1766. Pounds was severely crippled in his mid-teens, from falling int…

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John Pym

English politician, born in Brymore, Somerset, SW England, UK. He left Oxford without taking a degree, studied law, and entered parliament (1614). In 1641 he took a leading part in the impeachment of Strafford, helped to draw up the Grand Remonstrance, and in 1642 was one of the five members whom Charles I singled out by name. He stayed in London during the Civil War, and died soon after being app…

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John Quidor

Painter, born in Tappan, New York, USA. His family moved to New York City (c.1811) where he painted signs for fire coaches. He studied with John Wesley Jarvis (c.1814–22), and later lived on a farm in Illinois (c.1847), producing works with religious themes, and then moved to Jersey City. His work is symbolistic and based on the literary themes of James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving, as i…

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John Quincy Adams - Early life, Election of 1824, Presidency 1825–1829, Election of 1828, Later life

US statesman and sixth president (1825–9), born in Braintree (later Quincy), Massachusetts, USA, the son of John Adams and Abigail Adams. He was reared for public service, travelled in childhood on his father's diplomatic missions, and at age 14 was private secretary to the American envoy at St Petersburg. He graduated from Harvard (1787) and was admitted to the bar (1790). Successively ambassado…

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John Quincy Adams Ward - Literature

Sculptor, born near Urbana, Ohio, USA. He studied with Henry Kirke Brown and became his assistant (1849–56) before opening his own studio in New York City (1861). He is known for his naturalistic equestrian statues and historical and commemorative portrait sculptures, such as ‘Freeman’ (1863), which depicts Lincoln and a freed slave. John Quincy Adams Ward (June 29, 1830 – May 1, 1910)…

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John R(obert) Powers - Clientele

Model agency director, birthplace unknown. He founded commercial modelling by opening the world's first modelling agency in New York City (1920). His glamorous models included Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, and he later established a national chain of modelling schools and a cosmetics business. In 1923, John Robert Powers founded a modelling agency that became the most famous and powerfu…

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John Radcliffe - Anecdote of Radcliffe, Medical institutions named after Radcliffe, Book

Physician, born in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became the most popular physician of his time in London. Despite being a Jacobite, he attended William III and Queen Mary. In 1713 he was elected MP for Buckingham. He bequeathed the bulk of his large property to form the Radcliffe Library, Infirmary, and Observatory at Oxford. The John Radcliffe Hospital…

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John Rae

Arctic traveller, born near Stromness, Orkney Is, NE Scotland, UK. He studied medicine at Edinburgh, and in 1833 became doctor to the Hudson Bay Co. In 1846–7 he made two exploring expeditions to the Canadian Arctic, and in 1848 he accompanied Sir John Richardson on a search voyage for Franklin's lost expedition. On a further journey which he commanded (1853–4), he met the Eskimos who gave defin…

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John Randolph - Biography, Eccentricity and outsider status, Works

US representative and orator, born in Prince George Co, Virginia, USA. The second cousin of Edmund Randolph, he was educated initially by his stepfather, and proved a restless but brilliant student who never stayed long with a particular college or tutor. A reckless horseman, he cut a swashbuckling pose in the US House of Representatives (Democrat-Republican, Virginia, 1799–1813), defending the J…

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John Randolph Tucker

Lawyer, professor, and congressman, born in Winchester, Virginia, USA, the son of Henry St George Tucker (1780–1848). He was attorney general of Virginia (1857–65), professor and dean at Washington & Lee University (1870–4, 1889–97), and US Representative (Democrat, Virginia, 1875–87). He maintained a law practice (1865–97), often appearing before the US Supreme Court, and championed states'…

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John Ray - Early life, Career, Works, Legacy

Naturalist, born in Black Notley, Essex, SE England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, where he became a fellow of Trinity College (1649), but lost his post at the Restoration for religious reasons. With a pupil, Francis Willoughby (1635–72), he travelled widely in Europe studying botany and zoology. His classification of plants, with its emphasis on the species as the basic unit, was the foundation o…

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John Redwood - Satirised

British politician, born in Dover, Kent, SE England, UK. Educated at Oxford, he worked with a merchant bank before being appointed head of Margaret Thatcher's Policy Unit in 1983. Elected Conservative MP for Wokingham in 1987, he became secretary of state for Wales (1993–5). He came to national attention when he resigned from the cabinet in 1995 in order to challenge John Major as leader of the C…

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John Reginald Halliday Christie - Early life, Murders, Controversy, Bibliography

Murderer, born in Yorkshire, N England, UK. He was hanged at London for the murder of his wife, and confessed to the murder of six other women, including the wife of Timothy John Evans, who lived in the same house. Evans had been convicted and hanged for the murder of his infant daughter in 1950, and also charged with his wife's murder. After a special inquiry, Evans was granted a free pardon in 1…

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John Robert Cozens

Watercolour landscape painter, born in London, UK, the son of Alexander Cozens. In 1776 he travelled through Switzerland to Rome, painting what he saw on his way, and in 1782–3 made a second visit to Italy. Turner and Girtin copied his drawings, and John Constable pronounced that he was ‘the greatest genius that ever touched landscape’. John Robert Cozens (1752 - December 14, 1797), was …

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John Robinson

Clergyman, pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers, born in Sturton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire, C England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, held a curacy at Norwich, became a Separatist, and in 1608 escaped to Leyden, where he established a Church (1609). In 1620, after a memorable sermon, he saw part of his congregation set sail in the Speedwell for Plymouth, where they joined the Mayflower. Several no…

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John Robinson Pierce

Electrical engineer, born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, regarded as the father of satellite communications. He studied at the California Institute of Technology, then worked in the Bell Telephone Laboratories (1936–71), returning to Caltech as professor of engineering. A man of wide scientific interests, he made important discoveries in the fields of microwaves, radar, and pulse-code modulation. In t…

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John Rolfe - Biography, Heritage and legacy, Rolfe in fiction

Colonist, born in Norfolk, England, UK. His successful cultivation of tobacco led to its becoming the staple crop of Virginia. In 1614 he married Pocahontas, and the union maintained a peace with the Indians that lasted until 1622. This article is about the Virginia colonist. He is credited with the first successful cultivation of tobacco as an export crop in the Colony of Virginia and is k…

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John Ross

Cherokee leader, born on the Coosa R at Tahnoovayah, Georgia, USA. The son of a part Cherokee mother and Scottish father, he was raised among Christians, and fought in the War of 1812 under Andrew Jackson. He became a member of the Cherokee National Council (1817) and its president (1819–26), during which time he helped draft the Cherokee constitution. In 1823–39 he was principal chief of the E …

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John Rowan

US representative and senator, born in York, Pennsylvania, USA. A lawyer, he represented Kentucky in Congress (Republican, 1807–9), returning to the state legislature (1813–24), and then going to the Senate (1825–39) where he chaired the Judiciary Committee. John Rowan (July 12, 1773 – July 13, 1843) was an American lawyer and Jeffersonian Republican politician from Louisville, Kentuck…

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John Ruskin - Life, Work, Legacy, Biographies, Controversies, Definitions, Partial bibliography, Fictional portrayals of Ruskin

Writer and art theorist, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and after graduating met Turner, and championed his painting in his first critical work, Modern Painters (1843–60). This book, along with The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1848) and The Stones of Venice (1851–3), made him the most influential critic of the day, and his social, political, and economic criticism gave him the status …

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John Russell Pope

Architect, born in New York City, New York, USA. A prolific New York architect, he revived Gothic, Georgian, and Classical styles. Among his Neoclassical designs are the National Archives (1933–5) and the Jefferson Memorial (1937–43), both in Washington, DC. John Russell Pope (April 24, 1874 – August 27, 1937) was an architect most known for his designs of the Jefferson Memorial (comple…

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John Rutledge - Childhood and family, Pre-Revolutionary War activism, Rutledge the revolutionary, Post-war

US governor, born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA, the brother of Edward Rutledge. Educated in London, he returned to Charleston to become a brilliant lawyer. He was delegate to the First and Second Continental Congresses (1774–5), returning home to join the Council of Safety, to serve as the first president of South Carolina (1776–8), and to fight in the American Revolution. As South Carolin…

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John Scott Russell - Early life, The wave of translation, Ship building, Miscellany

Engineer and naval architect, born near Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied at Glasgow University, became professor of natural philosophy at Edinburgh (1832), and researched the effect of water waves on ships' hulls, designing hulls for the Scottish shipbuilding industry. He moved to London in 1844, and helped design many ships, including the Great Eastern (1856) and HMS Warrior (1860), the first …

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John Sedgwick - Early life, Civil War, Legacy

US soldier, born in Cornwall, Connecticut, USA. He trained at West Point (1837), and saw considerable action in the Seminole War, the Mexican War, and in the West. A brigade, division, and finally corps commander in the Army of the Potomac, he fought on the Virginia Peninsula and at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. Highly popular with the troops, he was known as Uncle Jo…

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John Selden

Historian and antiquary, born in Salvington, West Sussex, S England, UK. He studied at Oxford and London, became a lawyer (1612), entered parliament in 1623, and in 1628 helped to draw up the Petition of Rights, for which he was imprisoned until 1634. He entered the Long Parliament in 1640, but after the execution of Charles I he took little part in public matters. His best-known book, Table Talk,…

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John Sell Cotman

Watercolourist, born in Norwich, Norfolk, E England, UK. He studied art in London, and returned to Norwich in 1806, where he became a leading member of the Norwich School. At Yarmouth (1811–23) he executed some fine oil paintings and etchings, but lack of success made him sell his pictures and possessions and return to London (1834), where he became drawing master of King's College. His best work…

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John Sevier - Early life, Revolutionary War, State of Franklin, Southwest Territory, Governor of Tennessee, Later life

American soldier and public official, born near present-day New Market, Virginia, USA. He led militia forces during the American Revolution and was governor of the short-lived state of Franklin (1785–8). He also served as governor of Tennessee (1796–1801, 1803–9), and was twice in the House of Representatives (Democrat, North Carolina, 1789–91; Democrat, Tennessee, 1811–15). John Sevie…

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John Shakespeare

Glover and wool dealer, born in Snitterfield, near Stratford, Warwickshire, C England, UK. He married Mary, daughter of Robert Arden, a prosperous farmer of Wilmcote. Their eldest son and third child was William Shakespeare. After his apprenticeship, John Shakespeare set up a business in Stratford, was elected burgess in 1559, and six years later became an alderman. In 1568 he was made bailiff (ma…

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John Shaw Billings - Publications, Source

Surgeon and librarian, born near Vevay, Indiana, USA. He studied at the Medical College of Ohio (1860), and served as a medical officer with the Union army (1862–4). He then went to the surgeon general's department in Washington, DC where he stayed for 30 years (1864–94). While doing research, he was struck by how inadequate the surgeon general's library was and set about enlarging it from 600 b…

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John Shirley-Quirk

Bass-baritone, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He studied at Liverpool University, and made his professional debut in 1961. A noted Lieder and operatic singer, his appearances include Eugene Onegin at Glyndbourne and Elegy For Young Lovers with the Scottish Opera. He made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in 1974. John Shirley-Quirk CBE (born August 28…

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John Singer Sargent - Biography and work, Legacy

Painter, born in Florence, Italy. The son of expatriate American parents, he studied in Florence (1871–2) and Paris (1874), visited Boston (1876), travelled, and returned to Paris (1880). He is praised for his portraits, such as ‘The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit’ (1882). A scandal erupted when he exhibited ‘Madame X’ (1884), because the subject, Madame Gautreau, used lavender powder and wo…

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John Singleton Copley - Biography, Major works

Painter, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The stepson of Peter Pelham, he is considered the foremost portrait painter in colonial America. He settled in England (1775) at the urging of Sir Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West. Although his family was Loyalist, he himself remained neutral during the American Revolution. In England he produced successful works of historical subjects, such as ‘Death…

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John Skelton

Satirical poet, born in Norfolk, E England, UK. He studied at Oxford and Cambridge universities, was tutor to Prince Henry (the future Henry VIII), took holy orders in 1498, and became rector of Diss in 1502, but seems to have been suspended in 1511 for having a concubine or wife. He had produced some translations and elegies in 1489, but began to write satirical vernacular poetry, overflowing wit…

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John Slidell - Reference

US senator and diplomat, born in New York City, New York, USA, the brother of Alexander Slidell Mackenzie. A wealthy New Orleans lawyer and moderate Democrat, he was the political boss of Louisiana and the power behind the Buchanan administration as a US senator (1853–61). His capture with James Mason by Union forces (Nov 1861) en route to a Confederate diplomatic mission to Europe on the Trent s…

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John Smeaton - Law and physics, Civil engineering, Mechanical engineer, Legacy

Civil engineer, born in Austhorpe, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. In c.1750 he moved to London as a mathematical-instrument maker. Elected fellow of the Royal Society in 1753, he won the Copley Medal for his research into the mechanics of waterwheels and windmills. He made his reputation with a design for the third Eddystone lighthouse (1756–9), using dovetailed blocks of stone. His technique bec…

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John Smith - Politicians, Cultural figures, Academic figures, Sports figures, Fictional characters

Explorer, adventurer, and colonist, born in Lincolnshire, E England, UK. After fighting the Ottoman Turks, he helped to found Jamestown in 1607, and became a member of the governing council. He was once captured by the Indians of Powhatan's tribe and rescued by the chief's daughter, Pocahontas. In 1608–9 he served as the president of the Jamestown colony, but he was plagued by constant bickering …

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John Smith - Politicians, Cultural figures, Academic figures, Sports figures, Fictional characters

British politician, born in Dalmally, Argyll and Bute, W Scotland, UK. He studied at Glasgow University, was called to the Scottish bar in 1967, and made a QC in 1983. He became a Labour MP in 1970, held junior government posts under Harold Wilson, and in 1978 was appointed secretary of trade and industry by James Callaghan. From 1979 he was Opposition Front Bench spokesman on trade, energy, and e…

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John Spargo - Life, Works by John Spargo

Reformer and museum director, born in Cornwall, SW England, UK. Leaving the ministry for the labour movement, he attacked the British conduct of the Boer War in his Barry Herald (1899), earning the reputation as a Socialist intellectual and skilled orator. Emigrating to New York (1901), he worked on behalf of many social causes, and exposed childhood poverty in The Bitter Cry of the Children (1906…

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John Speed

Antiquary and cartographer, born in Cheshire, NWC England, UK. He began as a tailor, but his considerable historical learning brought him patronage, and he was able to publish his 54 Maps of England and Wales (1608–10) and other works. John Speed (1542-1629) was a historian, now best remembered as the cartographer whose maps of English counties are often found framed in homes throughout th…

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John Spencer - Earls, Others

Actor, born in New York City, New York, USA. At age 16 he enrolled at the Professional Children's School, New York City, and in 1964 gained a role on television's The Patty Duke Show. He then studied at Fairleigh Dickenson University and New York University, but dropped out to return to acting. He spent several years working in regional theatre, his notable performances including Still Life (1981,…

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John Spencer - Earls, Others

Snooker player, born in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He turned professional in his early 30s and became a key figure in the game's rise in popularity during the 1960s and 1970s. He went on to win the world championship three times (1969, 1971, 1977) and was the first winner of the Benson & Hedges Masters in 1975. Following his retirement in 1991, he became a snooker commentator f…

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John Stafford Smith

Composer, and musical scholar, born in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He wrote vocal music, and the tune of ‘The Star-spangled Banner’. John Stafford Smith (March 30, 1750 – September 21, 1836) was an English composer, church organist, and early musicologist. He is best known for writing the music for "To Anacreon in Heaven". This song was written in the mid-1…

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John Stanley

Composer, born in London, UK. Blinded in an accident at two, his musical talent was such that he became organist at All Hallows, Bread Street, at the age of 11. Later he held posts at St Andrew's, Holborn, and at the Inner Temple. His compositions, which include the oratorios Zimri and The Fall of Egypt, cantatas, organ voluntaries, concerti grossi, and instrumental sonatas, have won increasing re…

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John Stanley Plaskett - Honours

Astronomer, born in Woodstock, Ontario, SE Canada. At the Dominion Observatory, Ottawa, his work included research in spectroscopy and improvements in the design of the spectrograph. In 1918 the Dominion astrophysical observatory was built at Victoria to accommodate a huge telescope with a 72-in reflector which he had designed. Director there until 1935, he discovered the most massive known binary…

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John Stark - Early life and French and Indian War, American Revolution, Later years, Primary sources, Secondary references

American soldier, born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, USA. He served with Rogers' Rangers in the French and Indian War (1754–63). As colonel of a New Hampshire regiment, he fought at Bunker Hill, helped cover the retreat from Canada (1776), and fought at Trenton and Princeton. He resigned (Mar 1777) to protest the promotion of junior officers over him, and was then appointed brigadier-general. A …

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John Stewart Bell

Physicist, born in Belfast, NE Northern Ireland, UK. He studied at Belfast University, and worked at the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment before joining the staff at CERN, Geneva (1960). Here he developed the equations known as Bell's inequalities, which predict how measurements on one photon affect measurements made on another correlated photon. Subsequent experimental results show Bell's …

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John Stow

Chronicler, born in London, UK. A tailor in Cornhill, from c.1560 he devoted himself to antiquarian pursuits. His principal works are the Summary of English Chronicles (1565), Annals, or a General Chronicle of England (1580), and the noted Survey of London and Westminster (1598), an account of their history, antiquities, and government for six centuries. John Stow (c. The son of…

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John Strong Newberry - Works, Publications

Geologist and palaeontologist, born in Windsor, Connecticut, USA. As a physician-naturalist, he accompanied several army-exploring expeditions to the American West in the 1850s. In his Report Upon the Colorado River... (1861) he attributed the formation of the Grand Canyon to erosion, and he later published important work on fossil fishes and fossil plants in North American coalbeds. While on the …

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John Stuart Mill - Biography, Works, Writings

Empiricist philosopher and social reformer, born in London, UK. His father, the Scottish philosopher James Mill, imposed on him a precocious education: he was taught Greek at the age of 3, Latin and arithmetic at 8, logic at 12, and political economy at 13. In 1823 he began a career under his father at the India Office, where he advanced to become head of his department. One of the major intellect…

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John Sullivan - Early career, Revolutionary War, After the war

US soldier and political leader, born in Somersworth, New Hampshire, USA. A lawyer by profession, he was a member of the First Continental Congress in 1775. He became a major-general in the Continental Army, and served at the siege of Boston (1775–6) and Staten Island (1777). He failed at the siege of Newport (1778), but in 1779 fought against the Six Nations and won at Elmira. He resigned his co…

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John Surtees - Motorcycle Grand Prix Statistics, Complete Formula One Grand Prix results

Motor-racing driver and motor-cyclist, born in Westerham, Kent, SE England, UK, the only man to win world titles on both two and four wheels. He won the 350 cc motor cycling world title in 1958–60, and the 500 cc title in 1956 and 1958–60 (all on an MV Augusta). He then turned to car racing, and won the 1964 world title driving a Ferrari. He later became a racing car manufacturer. Point…

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John T(ileston) Edsall - Early life, Protein research, Blood fractionation, Advances in Protein Chemistry, Teaching and students, Historical interests

Biochemist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He spent his professional career at Harvard (1928–73), remaining active after achieving emeritus status. From the 1960s he made major contributions to studies of the physical chemistry of proteins, peptides, and amino acids, including red-cell enzymes and proteins involved in blood coagulation. After 1970 he devoted his time to writings on the …

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John Taber

US representative, born in Auburn, New York, USA. A graduate of Yale, he practised law and served as a judge in Cayuga, NY, before going to the US House of Representatives (Republican, New York, 1923–63), where he chaired the Committee on Appropriations (1949–55). Taber was supervisor of Cayuga County, New York in 1905 and 1906, special judge of the county court from 1910 to 1918, a deleg…

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John Taylor - Similar names

Political philosopher, US senator, and agriculturist, born in Caroline Co, Virginia, USA. He fought in the American Revolution and served several terms in the Virginia House of Delegates (1779–81, 1782–5) as well as the US Senate (1792–4, 1803, 1822–4). A Jeffersonian Democrat, he opposed the Federal Constitution because it did not sufficiently protect individual and states' rights. In 1798 he…

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John Theophilus Desaguliers - Biography

Scientist and inventor, born in La Rochelle, W France. He studied at Oxford, became experimental assistant to Sir Isaac Newton, and later popularized Newtonian theories and their practical applications. He proposed a scheme for heating vessels such as salt-boilers by steam instead of fire, and improved the design of Thomas Savery's steam engine by adding a safety valve, and using an internal water…

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John Thomas Dunlop

Economist and labour arbitrator, born in Placerville, California, USA. His primary interests were labour markets, wage systems, and industrial organizations. His teaching career at Harvard University was temporarily interrupted by his service on the National War Labor Board (1943–54) and as US secretary of labour (1975–6). John Thomas Dunlop (born July 5, 1914, died October 2, 2003) was a…

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John Toland - Works

Religious writer, born a Catholic in Inishowen, Co Londonderry, NW Northern Ireland, UK. He became a Protestant in his teens, and studied at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leyden, and Oxford universities. His Christianity not Mysterious (1696) was burnt by the hangman in Dublin, by order of the House of Commons, as being ‘atheistical and subversive’. In Amyntor (1699) and other works he debated the compara…

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John Torrey

Botanist, born in New York City, New York, USA. His interest in botany began in 1810, when he first met American naturalist Amos Eaton. Although he received his MD (1818) and practised medicine (1818–24), he preferred botany, and published results of a two-year survey of wild plants found within a 30 mile radius of New York City. His scientific papers on plants of the NE USA brought him fame, and…

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John Toshack - Playing career, Playing record, Honours, Managerial record

Football player and manager, born in Cardiff, S Wales, UK. At age 16 he joined Cardiff City Football Club (1966) and later signed for Liverpool on a free transfer (1970), where he formed a formidable striking partnership with Kevin Keegan. His honours with Liverpool include three league titles, two UEFA Cup wins and one FA Cup, and he notched up a total of 96 goals and gained 26 international caps…

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John Travolta - Filmography, Salary, Music career, Trivia

Film actor, born in Englewood, New Jersey, USA. He made his debut in an off-Broadway production of Rain (1972), then joined the Broadway cast of Grease, and became well known for his role in the TV series Welcome Back Koter. International fame came with the box-office hit films Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease (1978), and Staying Alive (1983). Later films include Look Who's Talking (1989), Pulp…

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John Trumbull - Gallery of Trumbull images

Poet and lawyer, born in Watertown, Connecticut, USA, the second cousin of Jonathan Trumbull. Extremely precocious as a child, he studied at Yale (1767 BA; 1770 MA) and taught there (1771–3). He then studied law with John Adams (1773), practised law in New Haven and Hartford (1774–1825), and was a judge of the Connecticut state courts (1801–19). He was associated with the ‘Hartford (or Connect…

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John Trumbull - Gallery of Trumbull images

Painter, born in Lebanon, Connecticut, USA, the son of Jonathan Trumbull (1710–85). He served intermittently in the Continental Army (1775–7, 1778) but spent most of the years 1777–9 studying art in Boston, and went to London to study with Benjamin West (1780). He was briefly imprisoned in retribution for the hanging of Major Andre as a spy. Released from prison, he went to Amsterdam and painte…

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John Turturro - Selected filmography, Television appearances

Film actor, born in New York City, USA. He trained at the Yale School of Drama, and established himself as a stage actor before his film debut in Raging Bull (1980). Later films include Hannah and her Sisters (1986), Do The Right Thing (1989), Barton Fink (1991), Unstrung Heroes (1995), The Big Lebowski (1998), The Man Who Cried (2000), and Anger Management (2003). John Nicodemus Turturro (…

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John Tyler - Biography, Post-Presidency

US statesman and 10th president (1841–5), born in Charles City Co, Virgina, USA. Trained as a lawyer, he steadily ascended the political ladder, gaining the state legislature (1811), the US House of Representatives (1816–19), the Virginia governorship (1825–7), and the US Senate (1827–36). Highly active as a senator, he maintained a states' rights position and resisted all attempts to regulate…

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John Tyndall - Life, Personality and private life, Honours, Bibliography

Physicist, born in Leighlin Bridge, Co Carlow, SE Ireland. Largely self-educated, he became professor at the Royal Institution in 1854. In 1859 he began his researches on heat radiation, followed by the acoustic properties of the atmosphere and the blue colour of the sky, which he suggested was due to the scattering of light by small particles of water. John Tyndall (August 2, 1820 – Dece…

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John Vanderlyn

Painter, born in Kingston, New York, USA. He studied with Gilbert Stuart in Philadelphia (1795–6), then went to Paris (1796–1801), returned briefly to New York (1801–3), and lived in Rome and again in Paris (1803–15). He is known for portraits and historical subjects, such as ‘Ariadne Asleep on the Isle of Naxos’ (1812). He returned to New York, produced cycloramas, the ‘Palace and Gardens …

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John Venn - Links

Anglican clergyman, born in London, UK. In 1792 he became vicar there, and a prominent member of the wealthy group of families, with their distinctive religious and social ideals, known as the Clapham sect. He founded the Church Missionary Society in 1799. John Venn (born Hull, Yorkshire, August 4, 1834 – died Cambridge, April 4, 1923), was a British logician and philosopher, who is famou…

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John Venn - Links

Mathematician, born in Hull, NE England, UK. A fellow of Caius College, Cambridge (1857), he developed George Boole's symbolic logic, and in his Logic of Chance (1866) worked on the frequency theory of probability. He is best known for Venn diagrams, pictorially representing the relations between sets, though similar diagrams had been used by Gottfried Leibniz and Leonhard Euler. John Venn …

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John Von Neumann - Biography, Logic, Quantum mechanics, Economics, Armaments, Computer science, Politics and social affairs, Honors, Further reading

Mathematician, born in Budapest, Hungary. The son of a wealthy Jewish banker, he emigrated to the USA (1933) to join the new Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He contributed to the creation of the atomic and hydrogen bombs and became a member of the Atomic Energy Commission (1955). He is considered one of the last representatives of a group of great mathematicians who were equally at home i…

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John Walker

Dictionary-maker, born in Colney Hatch, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. He became an actor, schoolmaster, and (from 1771) peripatetic teacher of elocution. He compiled a Rhyming Dictionary (1775), still in print as the Rhyming Dictionary of the English Language, and a Critical Pronouncing Dictionary (1791). John Walker is the name of: …

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John Walker

Inventor, born in Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, NE England, UK. He became a chemist, and in 1827 made the first friction matches, called by him ‘Congreves’ (alluding to William Congreve's rocket). They were later named lucifers, and eventually matches. John Walker is the name of: …

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John Wallace Crawford

Scout and writer, born in Co Donegal, Ireland. He went to the USA as a child (1854) and later worked as a coal miner. A soldier with the Union forces in the Civil War, he also served as a scout in campaigns against the Sioux and Apache Indians. He established a ranch in New Mexico and wrote books and plays, including The Poet Scout (1879). Captain Jack may refer to?: …

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John Wallis - Life, Mathematics

The leading English mathematician before Isaac Newton, born in Ashford, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and took orders, but in 1649 became professor of geometry at Oxford. His Arithmetica infinitorum (1655, The Arithmetic of Infinitesimals) was a stimulus for Newton's work on calculus and the binomial theorem. He also wrote on proportion, mechanics, grammar, logic, decipherment (he…

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John Walter

Printer and newspaper publisher, born in London, UK. In 1784 he acquired a printing office in Blackfriars, London, the nucleus of the later Printing House Square buildings, and in 1785 founded The Daily Universal Register newspaper, which in 1788 was renamed The Times. His son, John (1776–1847) managed the paper from 1802 to 1847, followed by his grandson. John Walter (1738/9 - November 17…

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John Walter

Newspaper proprietor, the grandson of John Walter, born in London, UK. A barrister by profession, he became proprietor of The Times in 1847. In 1866 he introduced the important cylindrical Walter press, in which, for the first time, curved stereotyped plates and reels of newsprint were used. John Walter (1738/9 - November 17, 1812), founder of The Times newspaper, London, was born in London…

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John Wanamaker - Trivia

Merchant, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. After a few years as secretary of the Philadelphia Young Men's Christian Association, he and his new brother-in-law, Nathan Brown, opened a men's clothing store called ‘Oak Hall’ (1861). In 1869, a year after Brown's death, Wanamaker opened the more fashionable John Wanamaker & Co. He turned this store over to his brothers to manage when in 1876…

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John Wayne - Early life and college, Acting career, production company, Death, Iconic status, Filmography

Film actor, born in Winterset, Iowa, USA. After a succession of small parts in low-budget films and serials, he achieved stardom as the Ringo Kid in Stagecoach (1939). He went on to make over 80 films, typically starring as a tough but warm-hearted gunfighter or lawman. Classics of the Western genre include She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Man who Shot Liberty Vallance (1962), and True Grit (1…

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John Webster - Life and career, Reputation, Webster in other works

English playwright. Little is known of him, though he is supposed to have been at one time clerk of St Andrews, Holborn. He collaborated with several other writers, especially Thomas Dekker, but is best known for his two tragedies, The White Devil (1612) and The Duchess of Malfi (1623), which have been staged more often than any plays of his time, apart from those of Shakespeare. Webster's …

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John Wellborn Root - Significant buildings

Architect, born in Lumpkin, Georgia, USA. The primary designer in a partnership with Daniel H Burnham (1873–91), he designed innovative iron- and steel-framed Chicago skyscrapers that shaped the Chicago School of architecture in the 1880s. John Wellborn Root (January 10, 1850 - January 15, 1891) was a significant American architect who worked out of Chicago with Daniel Burnham. …

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John Wesley - Youth, In Oxford and Georgia, The Beginning of the Revival, Persecutions; lay preaching

Evangelist and founder of Methodism, born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He studied at Oxford, was ordained deacon (1725) and priest (1728), and in 1726 became a fellow at Oxford and lecturer in Greek. Influenced by the spiritual writings of William Law, he became leader of a small group which had gathered round his brother Charles, nicknamed the Methodists, a name later adopted by John…

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John Wesley Powell - Biography, Trivia

Geologist and geographer, born in Mount Morris, New York, USA. Moving throughout the Midwestern states with his family, he attended Oberlin College, where he realized his interest was in geology. He volunteered for the Union army when the Civil War broke out, and had his right arm amputated at the elbow after being wounded at Shiloh. Taking up a career as a professor of geology, in 1867 he began t…

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John White

Painter, cartographer, and colonial governor, born in England, UK. Nothing is known of him until he sailed with Frobisher's second expedition to Baffin I (1577). In 1585 he was sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to Roanoke I (now in North Carolina) as artist and mapmaker. He came back with a set of water colours that remain the primary source for the study of the flora, fauna, and indigenous inhabitants o…

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John Whitgift

Anglican clergyman, born in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, was ordained in 1560, and rose to be Dean of Lincoln (1571), Bishop of Worcester (1577), Archbishop of Canterbury (1583), and a privy councillor (1586). He attended Elizabeth I in her last moments, and crowned James I. He was a champion of conformity, and vindicated the Anglican position against …

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John Wilbye

Madrigal composer, born in Diss, Norfolk, E England, UK. He was a farmer, who became a household musician at Hengrave Hall in Essex (c.1593–1628). He is known for only 66 madrigals, but these are renowned for his careful setting of literary texts, and for several translations of Italian poems. John Wilbye (baptized 7 March 1574, d. It is thought that he accompanied Elizabeth Cornwallis to …

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John Wilkes - Early life and character, Radical journalism, Outlaw, Later life, Trivia

British politician and journalist, born in London, UK. He studied at Leyden, became an MP (1757), and attacked the ministry in his weekly journal, North Briton (1762–3). He was imprisoned, released, then expelled from the house for libel. Re-elected on several occasions, and repeatedly expelled, he came to be seen as a champion of liberty, and an upholder of press freedom. In 1774 he became Lord …

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John Wilkes Booth - Background and early life, Theatrical career and Civil War, Possible ties to the Confederacy

Actor and assassin, born near Bel Air, Maryland, USA. A member of the well-known Booth family of Shakespearean actors, he was a somewhat erratic, if popular actor. He had come to support slavery and the South, and as a member of a Virginia militia company had participated in the arrest and execution of John Brown (1859). In the autumn of 1864 he hatched a plot to kidnap Lincoln, but the scheme fai…

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John Wilkins - Biography

Anglican clergyman, the first secretary of the Royal Society, born in Fawsley, Northamptonshire, C England, UK. He studied at Oxford, became a domestic chaplain, and took part in a group which met to further interest in science, and which later became the Royal Society (1662). In the Civil War he sided with parliament, and was appointed Warden of Wadham College, Oxford (1648), but was dispossessed…

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John Wilkinson

Iron-master and inventor, born in Clifton, Cumbria, NW England, UK. His most important achievement was the invention in 1774 of a cannon-boring machine, considerably more accurate than any in use up to that time. He used this machine to bore more accurate cylinders for steam engines, such as those of Boulton and Watt, to whom he supplied several hundred cylinders over the next two decades. Wilkins…

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John William Casilear

Painter, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied with Asher B Durand (1831), became a banknote engraver, travelled in Europe (1840–3, 1857–8), and worked in New York (1854). He specialized in Hudson River School landscapes, such as Lake George (1857). John William Casilear (June 25, 1811 – August 17, 1893), was an American landscape artist belonging to the Hudson River School. …

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John William Colenso - Biography

Clergyman, born in St Austell, Cornwall, SW England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and was appointed the first Bishop of Natal in 1853. He mastered the Zulu language, prepared a grammar and dictionary, and translated the Prayer Book and part of the Bible. The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined (1862–79), which cast doubts upon biblical accuracy, was regarded as heretical, and he…

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John William De Forest - Writing, Reference

Writer, born in Seymour, Connecticut, USA. After several years abroad, he wrote Oriental Acquaintance (1856) and European Acquaintance (1858). After serving in the Civil War and remaining in the army until 1868, he settled in New Haven, CT and became a prolific writer of short stories and novels, many of which drew on his military experiences. He pioneered realistic fiction with such works as Miss…

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John William Draper - References and external links

Chemist, born in St Helens, Merseyside, NW England, UK. In 1832 he emigrated to Virginia, where he became a pioneer in photography. He was the second American to make a photographic portrait (1839); that of his sister (1840) may be the oldest extant portrait. In 1850, he took the first microphotographs. He made major contributions to the study of the chemical effects of radiant energy. He was affi…

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John William MacKay

Miner and capitalist, born in Dublin, Ireland. He went to the USA as a boy, became an expert in timbering Nevada mines, and made a fortune by reworking the Comstock Lode with new equipment. After striking it rich again with the ‘Big Bonanza’ mine, he became a banker and railroad director and broke the Jay Gould–Western Union communications monoply in 1886. John William Mackay (November 2…

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John Williams - Early life, Film scoring, Collaborations with Steven Spielberg, Conducting and performing, The Olympics, Concert works, Awards

Missionary, born in Tottenham, N London, UK. Joining the London Missionary Society, he worked in Tahiti, Cook Is, and Samoa, before being killed in Vanuatu (New Hebrides). His book Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Seas (1837) was widely read. He was a model of the missionary-adventurer, and his example inspired David Livingstone. John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) …

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John Williams - Early life, Film scoring, Collaborations with Steven Spielberg, Conducting and performing, The Olympics, Concert works, Awards

Clergyman and writer, born in Roxbury (now part of Boston), Massachusetts, USA. He was captured in the French and Indian raid on Deerfield, where he was the town's minister. Following two years in captivity in Canada (1704–6), he returned to Massachusetts and wrote The Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion (1707). John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is one of the most widely recogniz…

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John Winthrop - Biographical Information

Astronomer and mathematician, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. A descendant of the colonial governor John Winthrop, he became the first thorough American scientist. A professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at Harvard (1738–79), he kept a detailed journal of the weather in Cambridge during 1742–79, and predicted the return of Halley's comet in 1759. He performed advanced studies in as…

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John Winthrop - Biographical Information

Soldier and colonial administrator, born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA, the son of John Winthrop. He served in the parliamentary army (1660), and settled in Connecticut in 1663. He was a commander against the Dutch, the Indians, and the French, agent in London for Connecticut (1693–7), and governor of the colony from 1698. John Winthrop (12 January 1587/8–26 March 1649) led a group of P…

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John Winthrop - Biographical Information

English colonist, the first governor of Massachusetts Bay, born in Edwardstone, Suffolk, E England, UK. A Puritan lawyer, he decided to emigrate. He signed the Cambridge agreement (1629) and was chosen as governor of the expedition while he was still in England. He arrived at Salem in 1630 and soon relocated the colony to Boston. He remained the pre-eminent leader of the colony, serving as governo…

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John Winthrop - Biographical Information

Colonist, born in Groton, Suffolk, E England, UK, the son of John Winthrop. He travelled to America in 1631, landing in Boston, and became a magistrate in Massachusetts. In 1635 he went to Connecticut, and founded New London in 1646. He was elected governor of Connecticut, and except for one year held that post until his death. He obtained from Charles II a charter uniting the colonies of Connecti…

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John Witherspoon - Birth, Princeton University, Revolutionary War, Death and burial, Legacy

Protestant clergyman, Continental Congressman, and educator, born in Gifford, East Lothian, E Scotland, UK. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and served two Scottish parishes before emigrating to America (1768) to become president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). During his long tenure (until 1794) he greatly strengthened both the college and the American Presbyterian Church.…

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John Wood

Architect, born in Yorkshire, N England, UK. He was responsible for many of the best-known streets and buildings of Bath, such as the North and South Parades, Queen Square, the Circus, Prior Park, and other houses. His son John (the Younger) (1728–82) designed the Royal Crescent and the Assembly Rooms. John Wood may refer to: …

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John Woolman - Origins and early life, Ministry, Final days, Works by Woolman, Works About Woolman

Protestant preacher and reformer, born in Rancocas, New Jersey, USA. The son of a farmer, he received a Quaker education and became a Quaker in 1743. A tailor by trade, he turned to preaching and travelled for some 30 years through the colonies, and also in England, spreading Quaker views. An early advocate of the abolition of slavery, he also called for the prohibition of liquor sales to Indians.…

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John Wyndham - Biography, Bibliography

Science-fiction writer, born in Knowle, West Midlands, C England, UK. He worked at a variety of jobs, then in the late 1920s began to write science-fiction tales for popular magazines, achieving fame with his first novel, The Day of the Triffids (1951). His other books include The Kraken Wakes (1953), The Chrysalids (1955), and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), as well as collections of short stories, s…

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John XII

Pope (955–64), born in Rome, Italy, the son of Alberic II, Duke of Spoleto. Elected pope before the age of 20, he led a notoriously immoral life. He was allied with Otto I, who supported him against Berengar II of Italy, and John crowned Otto the first German emperor (962). Otto then issued the Privilegium Ottonianum, ordering John to take an oath of obedience to the emperor; John replied by sidi…

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Johnnie Armstrong - Synopsis, History

Celebrated Scottish Border freebooter and cattle-rustler (‘reiver’), and hero of many Border ballads. He was either John Armstrong of Gilnockie Tower, near Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway, who was hanged in 1529, or his brother John Armstrong (‘Black Jock’) of Mangerton, who was executed in 1530. Johnnie Armstrong or Johnie Armstrong is Child ballad number 169. John Armstron…

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Johnny (Lee) Bench - Slander

Baseball player, born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. Playing in the National League with the Cincinnati Reds, he was the outstanding catcher of the 1970s. He hit 389 home runs, a record 327 as a catcher, and led the league three times in five years for runs batted in. He was twice the National League's Most Valuable Player. John Lee Bench (born December 7, 1947 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)…

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Johnny Carson - Before The Tonight Show, The Tonight Show, Marriages, Personal, Retirement, Death and aftermath, Further reading

Television talk show host, born in Corning, Iowa, USA. Raised in Nebraska, he sent away for a magic kit at age 12, and ‘The Great Carsoni’ gave his first performance two years later. After serving in the US Navy (1943–6), he graduated from the University of Nebraska (1949) and went to California (1950), where he worked for various radio and television shows. Moving to New York City (1956), he h…

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Johnny Cash - Early life, Early career, Drug addiction, "Folsom Prison Blues", "The Man in Black", Highwaymen, American Recordings

Musician and actor, born in Kingsland, Arkansas, USA. A singer, guitarist, and songwriter, he was born into a poor cotton-farming family and became one of the greatest stars of country music. He began writing songs while serving in the air force (1950–4), and worked as a door-to-door salesman before recording his first hits for Sun Records, ‘I Walk the Line’ and ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ in 1956.…

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Johnny Depp - Biography, Trivia, Selected filmography

Actor, born in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA. He dropped out of high school and played with several rock bands before turning to acting. He made his feature film debut in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and appeared in the television series 21 Jump Street (1987). Often playing unconventional roles, his later films include Platoon (1986), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Donnie Brasco (1997), and Sleepy Hol…

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Johnny Green - Trivia, Categories

Composer, arranger, bandleader, and pianist, born in New York City, New York, USA. Dedicated to music from the time he saw a band concert at age three, he began studying piano when five, and by 13 knew the basics of composition and orchestration. He enrolled at Harvard (aged 15) and while there began his career as an orchestra leader and composer. His ‘Coquette’ (1927), words by Gus Kahn, was a …

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Johnny Gruelle

Writer, illustrator, and cartoonist, born in Arcola, Illinois, USA. His family moved to Indianapolis, and he worked as a cartoonist for newspapers in Indianapolis and Cleveland before moving to New York City to join the New York Herald (1913–21). He became famous for the Raggedy Ann and Andy series he began in 1918, and for Beloved Belindy (1926), among other books for young readers. In 1931 he s…

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Johnny Hallyday - Albums, Films

Rock star, born in Paris, France, the ‘idol of the young’. Brought up amongst travelling show-people, he first sang on stage in 1956 in Copenhagen. Having discovered Presley at the cinema, he gave himself an American-style name, and launched his long career with an appearance in the programme L'Ecole des Vedettes. A star of the ‘yeye’ generation (‘Viens danser le twist’), he appeared at L'Al…

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Johnny Haynes - First £100-per-week Player, Tributes, Craven Cottage

Footballer, born in London, UK. He spent his whole career with Fulham Football Club (1952–70), made his debut for England in 1954, and became captain in 1960. The club's director and later chairman, the comedian Tommy Trinder, persuaded Haynes to stay with Fulham by making him the first £100-per-week footballer in the history of the British game (1961). A highly gifted and creative inside-forwar…

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Johnny Hodges

Jazz alto and soprano saxophonist, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He joined Duke Ellington's orchestra in 1928, and became an indispensable colour in Ellington's sound palette, staying with him until 1951 and, after leading his own band with moderate success, rejoining in 1955 until his death. Ellington wrote numerous showpieces for Hodges, one of the most distinctive instrumental voices i…

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Johnny Kelly

Rower and building contractor, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. After being denied the prize at Britain's Henley rowing regatta because he worked for a living (the race was for ‘gentlemen’), he got his revenge by winning gold medals in Olympic singles and doubles sculls in 1920 and in the doubles in 1924. A self-made man, he became a very wealthy contractor and was active in Democratic p…

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Johnny Leonard Roosevelt Martin - Plants, Popular culture

Baseball player, born in Temple, Oklahoma, USA. A third baseman and outfielder for the St Louis Cardinals (1928–44), he was one of the stars of the famous ‘Gas House Gang’ that won pennants in 1928, 1931, and 1934. Nicknamed, ‘the Wild Horse of the Osage’, he batted ·500 in the 1931 World Series in a performance that endures in baseball folklore. Pepper may refer to: The P…

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Johnny Mathis - Career, Personal life, Discography

Popular singer, born in Gilmer, Texas, USA. He sang in a college jazz band and later won a recording contract and engagements at prestigious New York clubs after an audition in San Francisco in 1955. His suave ballad singing helped him survive the dominance of rock in the popular music industry, and he has remained a successful nightclub performer in the USA and Britain. With Dionne Warwick he rec…

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Johnny Mercer - Childhood, Career, Academy Awards, Songs, Samples

Singer and composer, born in Savannah, Georgia, USA. He came to prominence during the 1930s as a singer, lyricist, and composer. He founded Capitol Records in 1942, and collaborated with popular composers to produce numerous hit songs, such as ‘Jeepers Creepers’ and ‘That Old Black Magic’. He won Oscars for several of his lyrics, including ‘In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening’ (1951), ‘D…

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Johnny Otis

Musician, born in Vallejo, California, USA. A self-styled ‘white Negro’ who worked with African-American musicians throughout his career, he began as a drummer in Count Matthews' House Rockers and other jump blues bands in Oakland (1940–5). He formed his first band and released the hit record ‘Harlem Nocturne’ in 1946. For the next 15 years he was a leading figure in the development of West C…

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Johnny Speight - TV Writing Credits

Comic writer, born in London, UK. A milkman, insurance salesman, and member of a jazz band, he began writing after World War 2 for comedians such as Frankie Howerd, Arthur Haynes, and Morecambe and Wise. He made his mark on television with the creation of the loud-mouthed, working-class bigot, Alf Garnett, in the controversial series Till Death Us Do Part (1964–74), which took the Screenwriters' …

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Johnny Unitas - Professional career, Personal life

Player of American football, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The Pittsburgh Steelers cut the former University of Louisville quarterback in their 1955 training camp, but he signed with the Baltimore Colts in 1956 and led them to National Football League championships (1958, 1959). An exceptional leader and passer who thrived on pressure, he threw at least one touchdown pass in 47 consecutiv…

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Johnny van Doorn

Performer, poet, and novelist, born in Beekbergen, C Netherlands. In the 1960s he gained popularity with his poetic performances under the pseudonyms of Johnny the Selfkicker, Electric Jesus, and Electric Goebbels. His performances were intense, improvised, and usually provocative. As opposed to his exuberant live performances, his prose is delicate and sensitive, in which he reminisces about his …

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Johnny Weissmuller - Early life, Swimming career, Motion picture career, Later life, Filmography, Literature, Media

Swimmer and film star, born in Freidorf, W Romania. His family emigrated to the USA in 1908. In 1922 he made history by becoming the first person to swim 100 m in under one minute, and he won the 100 m freestyle at the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, and the 400 m in 1928. After turning professional in 1932, he became a swimsuit model for a clothing firm. His name is most widely known for his starring …

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Johns Hopkins - Sources

Merchant and philanthropist, born in Anne Arundel Co, Maryland, USA. In 1812 he left the family tobacco plantation for his uncle's Baltimore commission house. In the 1820s he formed Hopkins Brothers, a grocery store (which at times accepted whisky in payment and sold it under the name ‘Hopkins' Best’). As he continued to prosper, his interests diversified into banking, insurance companies, steam…

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joint - Structural classification, Functional classification

The region of contact between bones of the body. Some bones articulate at movable joints, others at only slightly movable joints, and others at immovable joints. The shape of the articular surfaces, and the structure and arrangement of the ligaments that unite the bones at the joint, principally determine the amount of movement which may occur. Three distinct classes of joint are recognized. Fibro…

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Joint European Torus (JET) - Current status

A research facility in nuclear fusion comprising a large doughnut-shaped experimental fusion reactor called a tokamak, which became operational in 1983 at Abingdon, Oxfordshire. It is funded by 15 European countries and EURATOM. It stands c.9 m/30 ft high, and weighs c.3000 tonnes. In 1997 JET achieved a record of 16 MW peak fusion power, with a ratio of power out to power in of 65%. JET,…

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Jokichi Takamine - Trivia

Biochemist, born in Takaoka, WC Japan. He studied chemical engineering at Tokyo and Glasgow universities, and in 1887 opened his own factory, the first to make superphosphate fertilizer in Japan. In his private laboratory he developed a starch-digesting enzyme, and in 1890 went to the USA to develop its use in the distilling industry, setting up an industrial biochemical laboratory at Clifton, NJ.…

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Jomo Kenyatta - Early life, Overseas, Return to Kenya, Leadership, Quotes, Trivia, Books by Jomo Kenyatta

Kenyan statesman and president (1964–78), born in Mitumi, Kenya. Educated at a Scots mission school, he studied at London, and became president of the Pan-African Federation. In the late 1940s his Kenya African Union advocated total independence in a unitary state. He was charged with leading the Mau Mau terrorist organization (a charge he denied), and was sentenced to seven years' hard labour in…

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Jonah Lomu - Physical attributes, Early career, 1995 World Cup, 1996-1998, 1999 and the World Cup

Rugby union player, born in Mangere, New Zealand, of Tongan parents. A brilliant athlete while at school, he played rugby league, then switched to union, being selected for the New Zealand All Blacks in 1994. He became internationally known as a member of the World Cup squad in 1995, when his massive physique (1·95 m/6 ft 5 in; 119 kg/266 lb) made him an awesome opponent. He scored four trie…

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Jonas (Edward) Salk - Life, Controversy

Immunologist, born in New York City, New York, USA. He began his path-breaking studies on viruses and immunization by starting with the influenza virus while at the University of Michigan (1942–7). At the University of Pittsburgh (1947–63), he developed the first vaccination against poliomyelitis, a killed-virus vaccine, introduced to the public in 1953. By 1961, and after some resistance, Alber…

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Jonas (Lauritz Idemil) Lie - Works, Bibliography

Writer, born in Eiker, SE Norway. He trained as a lawyer but turned to writing after being made bankrupt. His classic novels, which present realistic portrayals of ordinary folk in Norway, include Den fremsynte (1870, The Visionary) and Lodsen og hans hustru (1874, Lodsen and his Wife). One of Norway's four great men of literature, he also wrote poetry, plays, and fairy-tales, including Trold (189…

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Jonas (Malheiro) Savimbi - Early years, Savimbi's Washington allies, Savimbi's military success

Soldier and politician, born in Munhango, Angola, the leader of the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) since its formation in 1966. He studied at Lausanne University, moved to Lusaka, and was active in the struggle for independence from Portugal which developed into civil war (1961). He led the Popular Union of Angola, and was foreign minister of the government in exile (1962–4). …

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Jonathan - Famous people bearing the name

Biblical character, the son and heir of Saul (the first king of Israel) and loyal friend of David. He is portrayed in 1 Samuel as a cunning soldier, but he faced conflicting loyalties when he continued his friendship with David in spite of Saul's mounting hostility to David. David succeeded Saul as King of Israel, since Jonathan was killed in the Battle of Gilboa against the Philistines. …

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Jonathan Dayton - Political career, Notes and references

US representative and senator, born in Elizabeth-Town, New Jersey, USA. A captain at Yorktown, he served in the New Jersey assembly (1786–7), leaving to attend the Federal Convention. He served in four congresses (Federalist, New Jersey, 1791–9), supporting Alexander Hamilton's banking policies. A one-term senator (1799–1805), his federal career ended abruptly when he was indicted for treason (…

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Jonathan Demme - Filmography

Film director, born in Long Island, New York, USA. He has directed pop videos, documentaries, and television episodes, making his cinematic directorial debut with Caged Heat (1974). He won a Best Director Oscar for the psychological thriller Silence of the Lambs (1991). Later films include Cousin Bobby (1992), Philadelphia (1993), Beloved (1998), and The Manchurian Candidate (2004). …

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Jonathan Dimbleby - Education, TV and radio career, Writing and other activities, Family

Broadcaster, writer, and journalist, the son of Richard Dimbleby, born in London, UK. He studied at University College London, and became a reporter for the BBC (1969–71). Well known as a presenter of television current-affairs documentaries (1972–88), he hosted On the Record for BBC-TV (1988–93), and regularly fronts programmes on major national events, such as the general election. In 1997 he…

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Jonathan Edwards - Early life, Great Awakening, Edwards and science, Later years, Death, Legacy

Protestant clergyman and theologian, born in East Windsor, Connecticut, USA. He entered Yale at age 13, graduated in 1720, and studied theology there for two years. He was a pastor in New York City briefly before returning to Yale as a tutor. In 1726 he became an assistant to his grandfather Solomon Stoddard as minister of the Congregational Church at Northampton, MA, and succeeded him after his d…

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Jonathan Edwards - Early life, Great Awakening, Edwards and science, Later years, Death, Legacy

Theologian, born in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA, the son of Jonathan Edwards. He graduated from New Jersey, and became pastor at White Haven, CT (1769), Colebrook, CT (1796), and president of the new college at Schenectady, NY (1799). His works include A Dissertation concerning Liberty and Necessity (1797) and On the Necessity of the Atonement (1785). Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703

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Jonathan Edwards - Early life, Great Awakening, Edwards and science, Later years, Death, Legacy

Triple jump athlete, born in London, UK. He studied physics at Durham University, and joined the Gateshead Athletics Club. His sporting achievements include silver medals at the Commonwealth Games (1990, 1994), Commonwealth Games gold (2002), Olympic silver (1996), Olympic gold (2000), European Championship title (1998), and two World Championship gold medals (1995, 2001). He holds six of the best…

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Jonathan Letterman - Civil War, Death and legacy

Surgeon, born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. An army surgeon, he tended soldiers injured during skirmishes with Native Americans (1849–62) and served as medical director of the Union's Army of the Potomac (1862–4). His organization of the medical field service, including mobile hospitals and ambulances, laid the foundations for armies since then. In private practice in San Francisco following…

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