Behr, Edward 1926-2007 (Edward Samuel Behr)

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Behr, Edward 1926-2007 (Edward Samuel Behr)


See index for CA sketch: Born May 7, 1926, in Paris, France; died May 26, 2007, in Paris, France. Journalist and author. A former correspondent for Newsweek, Behr reported on violent conflicts around the world, but he was also well known for his biographies and other nonfiction works. His parents came from Russia and he was educated at the Lycee Janson de Sailly, where he learned to speak French, before studying at St. Paul's School in London. Behr enlisted in the Indian Army in 1944, serving on the North West Frontier until 1948, a year after India gained its independence. Returning to England, he studied history at Magdalene College, Cambridge, earning a B.A. in 1951 and an M.A. in 1953. Next, Behr joined the news agency Reuters as a Paris correspondent. His time in France led to work with statesman Jean Monnet, for whom he served as press officer from 1954 to 1956. Behr then turned fulltime to journalism. Time, Inc. hired him as a correspondent in 1957, and the reporter delivered reports from Paris, India, and the Middle East. From 1963 to 1965, he was both a contributing editor to the Saturday Evening Post and reporter-director for the French news program Cinq Colonnes a la Une. Behr joined Newsweek in 1965 as a Paris correspondent and worked full-time for the publication for the next twenty-two years. While affiliated with Newsweek, he was Hong Kong bureau chief in the mid-1960s, Paris bureau chief from 1968 to 1972, and European editor based in Paris from 1973 to 1983. He reported on conflicts ranging from the Vietnam War and the Cuban missile crisis to war in the African Congo, the troubles in Northern Ireland, and the Soviet invasion of Prague, Czechoslovakia. Behr went into semiretirement after 1987, but still served as a contributing editor to Newsweek while concentrating more on his writing. He earned critical praise for the biographies Hirohito: Behind the Myth (1989) and Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite: The Rise and Fall of the Ceausescus (1991). The next year the latter was turned into a PBS television documentary, and Behr was nominated for an Emmy for his role as correspondent in the production. The recipient of the Gutenberg Prize in 1988, he was also the author of nonfiction titles such as The Algerian Problem (1961) and Prohibition: Thirteen Years That Changed America (1996). Behr enjoyed theater and film, and this, along with his love for French culture, led to his writing two books about Maurice Chevalier, in addition to the film novelization The Last Emperor (1987), and coffee table books about Les Miserables and Miss Saigon.



Behr, Edward, Bearings: A Foreign Correspondent's Life behind the Lines, Viking (New York, NY), 1978.


Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2007, p. B15.

New York Times, June 1, 2007, p. C11.

Times (London, England), May 31, 2007, p. 67.

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Behr, Edward 1926-2007 (Edward Samuel Behr)

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