Simon Blumenfeld

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Simon Blumenfeld (25 November 1907 – 13 April 2005) was a Jewish columnist, author, playwright, theatre critic, editor and communist.

Although he described himself as Jewish, he was born to a family of Sicilian refugees, who eventually settled in Whitechapel, in the East End of London. During World War II he served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, before becoming a scriptwriter for Stars in Battledess.

At the end of the war he founded the entertainment magazine Band Wagon,[1] with Norman Kark. He adopted a number of pseudonyms, including Sidney Vauncez (the Yiddish word for moustache), CV Curtis, and Peter Simon for his writing. He founded the Weekly Sporting Review, which collapsed when sued for libel by the managers of Tommy Steele; and then Record Mirror with Benny Green.

Simon Blumenfeld died at Barnet General Hospital at the age of 97, on 13 April 2005. Blumenfeld continued writing up until his death, and appeared in the Guinness Book of Records, as the 'World's Oldest Columnist'. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, where a memorial plaque remains in the 'communist corner'.

Works[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • Jew Boy - published in the US as The Iron Garden (1932) [reprinted: Lawrence and Wishart, 1986; London Books, 2011]
  • Phineas Kahn: Portrait of an Immigrant (1937) [reprinted by Lawrence and Wishart, 1987, with an introduction by Steven Berkoff]
  • Doctor of the Lost (1938) [reprinted by London Books, 2013, with an introduction by Paolo Hewitt]
  • They Won't Let You Live (1939)
  • The Catalones Bandit (1947) [as pseudonym Huck Messer (Yiddish: carving knife)]

Plays[edit]

  • The Battle of Cable Street (1987)

Editor and columnist[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Named for the radio show Band Waggon.

References[edit]