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Abel Meeropol
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    (February 10, 1903-October 30, 1986)
    Born in The Bronx, New York
    Went by the pseudonym Lewis Allan
    Poet, teacher and songwriter
    Wrote the songs 'Strange Fruit' (sung by Billie Holiday), 'The House I Live In' (sung by Frank Sinatra) and 'Apples, Peaches and Cherries' (sung by Peggy Lee)
    Acted in the film 1958 film 'Sierra Baron'
    Died in Longmeadow, MA of a combination of Alzheimer's disease and pneumonia at age 83
    He wrote as Lewis Allan in memory of his two stillborn children (and because it sounded less Jewish).
    He was a closet Communist.
    When RKO Radio Pictures released a 10 minute film version of 'The House I Live In,' he was livid that the line 'my neighbors who are black and white' was omitted.
    Alzheimer's disease robbed him of the memory of his accomplishments, and he died in a Jewish nursing home.
    He earned a Bachelor's degree at City College of New York, a Masters at Harvard University, and became an English literature teacher at a Bronx high school.
    He wrote Holiday's signature song 'Strange Fruit' in 1937 after seeing a 1930 photo of two lynched Indiana black men.
    While controversial at the time, the powerful song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1978 and made the 2001 R.I.A.A. list of 'Songs of the Century.'
    Even with the removed lyric, the movie version of 'The House I Live In,' made as a statement against anti-Semitism and racial prejudice after World War II, received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.
    The movie was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant' (2007).
    After Ethel & Julius Rosenberg were executed by the state of New York in 1953, he and his wife adopted their two sons.

Credit: Scar Tactics

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