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Rockwell Kent
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    (June 21, 1882-March 13, 1971)
    Born in Tarrytown, New York
    Painter and illustrator
    Wrote and illustrated 'Wilderness: A Journey of Quiet Adventure in Alaska' (1920), 'Voyaging Southwards from the Strait of Magellan' (1924), 'N by E' (1930), 'This Is My Own' (1940) and 'It's Me, O Lord' (1955)
    Illustrated editions of 'Moby Dick,' 'Leaves of Grass,' 'Candide,' 'The Canterbury Tales,' 'The Decameron,' 'Faust,' 'Beowulf' and the complete works of William Shakespeare
    His third wife was three decades younger than him.
    When he painted two murals for the Washington, DC, headquarters of the US Post Office, he hid (in tiny letters and in the Inuit language) a message advocating freedom for Puerto Rico, which was later painted over.
    He served as president of the Communist-affiliated International Workers Order (1944-53) and designed their logo.
    He unsuccessfully ran for Congress on the American Labor Party ticket.
    He donated hundreds of his drawings and paintings to the Soviet Union, was named an honorary member of the Soviet Academy of Fine Arts and was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.
    Despite his leftist views, he was one of the first artists to make himself a corporation for business purposes.
    He loved the wilderness and lived for extended periods in Newfoundland, Alaska, Tierra del Fuego and Greenland.
    He designed posters for the 'Artists for Victory' project during World War II.
    When he tried to read a statement before Joseph McCarthy's Senate committee, McCarty said, 'I will not hear a lecture from you, Mr. Kent.' Kent replied, 'You certainly won't. I get paid for my lectures.'
    When the State Department revoked his passport, he sued to have it reinstated and won a landmark Supreme Court case.
    His illustrations for Melville's 'Moby Dick' contributed to the revival of that novel's popularity.
    One of his 'Moby Dick' drawings was featured in a series of US stamps honoring American illustrators.

Credit: C. Fishel

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