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Bertrand Arthur William Russell
Birth: May 18, 1872
Monmouthshire, Wales
Death: Feb. 2, 1970
Gwynedd, Wales

British Philosopher, Logician, Mathematician, Historian, Political Activist, and Nobel Prize Winner. He was born at Ravenscroft, Trellech, Monmouthshire, England into an influential and liberal family of the British aristocracy. His paternal grandfather, John Russell, the 1st Earl Russell, had twice been asked by Queen Victoria to form a government, serving her as Prime Minister in the 1840s and 1860s. He received his primary education at home by a series of tutors. His adolescent years were very lonely, and he often contemplated suicide. He was keenly interested in religion and mathematics, and that only the wish to know more mathematics kept him from suicide. During these formative years he also discovered the works of English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. At the age of 18 he became an atheist. He won a scholarship to read for the Mathematical Tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and commenced his studies there in 1890. He came under the influence of Alfred North Whitehead, who recommended him to the Cambridge Apostles. He quickly distinguished himself in mathematics and philosophy, graduating as a high Wrangler in 1893 and becoming a Fellow Wrangler in 1895. When he was 17 years old, he met the American Quaker Alys Pearsall Smith, who was a graduate of Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They soon fell in love and married on December 13, 1894. In 1901 their marriage began to fall apart when it occurred to him that he no longer loved her. It was to be a hollow shell of a marriage and they finally divorced in 1921, after a lengthy period of separation. During this period, Russell had passionate (and often simultaneous) affairs with a number of women, including Lady Ottoline Morrell and the actress Lady Constance Malleson. In 1896 he began his published work with German Social Democracy, a study in politics that was an early indication of a lifelong interest in political and social theory, and also taught German social democracy at the London School of Economics. In 1901 he began an intensive study of the foundations of mathematics at Trinity, during which he discovered Russell's paradox, which challenged the foundations of set theory. Two years later, he published his first important book on mathematical logic, "The Principles of Mathematics," arguing that mathematics could be deduced from a very small number of principles, a work which contributed significantly to the cause of logicism. In 1905 he wrote the essay "On Denoting," which was published in the philosophical journal Mind and in 1908 he became a fellow of the Royal Society. The first of three volumes of "Principia Mathematica," written with Whitehead, was published in 1910, which, along with the earlier "The Principles of Mathematics," soon made him world-famous in his field. During the First World War he was one of the very few people to engage in active pacifist activities and in 1916, he was dismissed from Trinity College following his conviction under the Defence of the Realm Act. In 1918 he was convicted for publicly lecturing against inviting the US to enter the war on Britain's side and he was sentenced to six months' imprisonment in Brixton prison. While there, he wrote the book "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy." In August 1920 he travelled to Russia as part of an official delegation sent by the British government to investigate the effects of the Russian Revolution. He wrote a book about his experiences on the trip, "The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism." Prior to his Russian visit, he had engaged in a love affair with Dora Black, a British author, feminist and socialist campaigner, who later accompanied him to China where he lectured in Beijing for a year. When they returned to England in August 1921, Dora was pregnant and he hastily arranged for a divorce from his wife the following month and he and Dora were married in October. In 1927 they founded the experimental Beacon Hill School. In 1931 he became the 3rd Earl Russell upon the death of his oldest brother Frank. The following year he separated from his second wife and they were divorced. In January 1936 he married his third wife, Patricia Spence, an Oxford undergraduate, who had been his children's governess since 1930. Before the Second World War, he came to the US and taught at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, later moving on to Los Angeles, California to lecture at the University of the County of Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Philosophy. He initially opposed rearmament against Nazi Germany, but changed his view that avoiding a full scale world war was more important than defeating Adolph Hitler. In 1940 he was appointed professor at the City College of New York, but after a public outcry, the appointment was annulled by a court judgment because his opinions (especially those relating to sexual morality, detailed in his 1929 book "Marriage and Morals") made him "morally unfit" to teach at the college. He soon joined the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, lecturing to a varied audience on the history of philosophy, which would form the basis of 1945 book "A History of Western Philosophy." His relationship with the eccentric Albert C. Barnes soon soured, and he returned to Britain in 1944 to rejoin the faculty of Trinity College. In 1948 he was invited by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to deliver the inaugural Reith Lectures, in what was to become an annual series of lectures. His series of six broadcasts, titled "Authority and the Individual," explored themes such as the role of individual initiative in the development of a community and the role of state control in a progressive society. On June 9, 1949 he was awarded the Order of Merit and the following year he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1952 he and his third wife divorced and he married his fourth wife, Edith Finch, in December of that year. He spent the 1950s and 1960s engaged in various political causes, primarily related to nuclear disarmament and opposing the Vietnam War. The 1955 Russell-Einstein Manifesto was a document calling for nuclear disarmament and was signed by 11 of the most prominent nuclear physicists and intellectuals of the time. He frequently corresponded with world leaders during this period. He became a hero to many of the youthful members of the New Left. In early 1963 he became increasingly vocal about his disapproval of what he felt to be the US government's near-genocidal policies in South Vietnam. Later that year he became the inaugural recipient of the Jerusalem Prize, an award for writers concerned with the freedom of the individual in society. He published his three-volume autobiography in 1967, 1968, and 1969 and made a cameo appearance playing himself in the anti-war Hindi film "Aman" which was released in India in 1967, his only appearance in a feature film. In November 1969 he appealed to the United Nations Secretary General U Thant to support an international war crimes commission to investigate alleged torture and genocide by the US in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The following month, he protested to Alexei Kosygin over the expulsion of Soviet novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from the Writers Union. On January 31, 1970 he issued a statement which condemned Israel's aggression in the Middle East, and in particular, Israeli bombing raids being carried out deep in Egyptian territory as part of the War of Attrition, and called for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. This would be his final political statement or act. He died of influenza at his home, Plas Penrhyn, in Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire, Wales, England at the age of 97. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the Welsh mountains. A prolific writer, he wrote over 70 books as well as many pamphlets, introductions, articles, and letters to the editor. In 1980 a bust of him was commissioned and placed in Red Lion Square in London, England, sculpted by Marcelle Quinton. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Family links: 
  John (Viscount Amberley) Russell (1842 - 1876)
  Katharine Louisa (Viscountess Amberley) Stanley Russell (1844 - 1874)
  John Francis Stanley (2nd Earl) Russell (1865 - 1931)*
  Rachel Lucretia Russell (1868 - 1874)*
  Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872 - 1970)
*Calculated relationship
Trinity College *
City of Cambridge
Cambridgeshire, England
Plot: Chapel
*Memorial Site [?]
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Apr 10, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 21194
Bertrand Arthur William Russell
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Bertrand Arthur William Russell
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Bertrand Arthur William Russell
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- Pamela Howlett
 Added: Jan. 25, 2017
- runawayuniverse
 Added: Jan. 11, 2017
I wish I could be more like him. Much respect.
- drummer9
 Added: Jun. 22, 2016
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