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Houdini, originally Erik Weisz, was a Jewish Hungarian-born American magician and escapologist, stunt… [More] performer, actor, film producer, and aviator noted for his sensational escape acts. His career was made of more than world-wide magic tricks. A few of his notable escape acts include: the Chinese Water Torture Cell, the Suspended Straitjacket Escape, and the Buried Alive Stunt. He was also a stuntman for Hollywood movies. [Less]
1897: Wilhelm Reich
Born Jewish, Reich was an Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, known as one of the… [More] most radical figures in the history of psychiatry. He was the author of several notable books, including “The Mass Psychology of Fascism” and “Character Analysis,” both published in 1933. Reich worked with Sigmund Freud in the 1920s. He tried to reconcile Marxism and psychoanalysis, arguing that “neurosis is rooted in the physical, sexual, economic, and social conditions” of the patient, and promoted adolescent sexuality, the availability of contraceptives, abortion, and divorce, and the importance for women of economic independence. His work influenced a generation of intellectuals, including Saul Bellow, William S. Burroughs, Paul Edwards, and Norman Mailer, [Less]
1919: Robert Heilbroner
Born in New York to a wealthy German-Jewish family, Heilbroner was an American economist and historian… [More] of economic thought who authored some 20 books. During World War II, he served in the United States Army and worked at the Office of Price Control under John Kenneth Galbraith, the famously controversial Institutionalist economist. Heilbroner is best known for his book, “The Worldly Philosophers,” published in 1953, which is a survey of the lives and contributions of famous economists, notably Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. [Less]