Andrew Roth

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Andrew Roth (23 April 1919 – 12 August 2010) was a biographer and journalist known for his compilation of Parliamentary Profiles, a directory of biographies of British Members of Parliament, a small sample of which is available online in The Guardian.[1] Active amongst the politicians and journalists in Westminster for sixty years, he also made appearances on British television.

He scoured Hansard, gossip columns, vote papers and committee reports to compile his profiles of the personnel of the British Parliament and assessed their character traits, history, opinions and psychological drives. The profiles also included cartoon caricatures by Terry Roth.

Roth's detailed obituaries were composed for international and national figures of note, using the skills and information he had collected in his biographical research. A catalogue of his published obituaries in the archives of The Guardian provides a historical perspective to contemporary news as the deaths of the noteworthy are documented and he reviews their lives.[2]

He was born to Hungarian parents in New York City and attended City College and Columbia, Michigan and Harvard universities, where he studied Far Eastern History. During 1940 he was a researcher at the Institute of Pacific Relations.[3] He served as a lieutenant with the US Naval Intelligence in World War II. In June 1945 he and five others were arrested during an FBI investigation into the leaking of documents to the journal Amerasia. He was subsequently cleared.[4]

Roth was a journalist and foreign correspondent in twenty countries before settling in the United Kingdom in 1950. He was political correspondent for the Manchester Evening News from 1972 to 1984, contributed to the New Statesman from 1984 to 1997 and was an obituarist and contributor to The Guardian from 1996. In a 2017 interview with Sophy Ridge, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, when presented with information from one of Roth's parliamentary profiles, stated that "Andrew Roth has a wonderful reputation for having the most inaccurate parliamentary profiles known to anyone".[5]

Roth died of prostate cancer at the age of 91. He was survived by his third wife, Antoinette Putnam, a son, Neil, a daughter, Terry, and three grandchildren.[6][7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andrew Roth's parliament profiles". The Guardian. London. 14 August 2009. Retrieved 1 Apr 2010. 
  2. ^ "Andrew Roth". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 
  3. ^ Who's Who. A & C Black. January 2007. 
  4. ^ McSmith, Andy (22 August 1999). "Tory ex-MP dons McCarthy's mantle to stalk a 'Commie' at Westminster". The Observer. London. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "What did Jeremy Corbyn actually say about the IRA this weekend?". Labour List. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Aitken, Ian (12 August 2010). "Andrew Roth obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 
  7. ^ "Andrew Roth". The Daily Telegraph (Obituary). 13 August 2010. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 
  8. ^ Burns, John F. (16 August 2010). "Andrew Roth, 91; American-Born Chronicler of British Politics". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2017. 

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