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Ezra Loomis Pound, 1885 - 1972

portrait of Ezra Pound
Portrait by Alvin Langdon Coburn (22 October 1913)

Born: 30 October 1885, Hailey, Idaho Territory
Died: 1 November 1972, Venice, Italy

By the time Ezra was five his family moved to the Philadelphia area where his father was an assayer for the mint. He was educated in a series of small "dame schools", two years in a military academy followed by a stint at the University of Pennsylvania. He got his degrees from Hamilton College at Clinton, New York, he left speaking nine languages. In 1908 he moved to London and became a mainstay of the literary field, discovering or introducing a wide array of new authors, including Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, E.E. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and many others. But then he moved to Italy and became a fascist. He attacked America on Italian radio, made a great many viciously antisemitic statements, was arrested at the end of the war, and spent twelve years in a Washington City mental hospital. The superintendent, fascinated by this inmate, may have sheltered him from the legal process by firmly declaring him insane, contrary to the opinion of the psychiatrists on the staff. The Bollingen Prize for poetry, to be issued by the Library of Congress, had just been created. A majority of the committee admired Pounds work and felt that it would shame the government into releasing Pound if he were the winner. It worked, although as a result the prize was only administered by AC that one time. He returned to Italy in 1958, dividing his time between Rapallo and Venice. On his 87th birthday he was too weak to leave his bed, was admitted to hospital the next day and died of intestinal blockage.

Biography from Wikipedia and Biography.com

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