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'Old age is like learning a new profession. And not one of your own choosing.' - Jacques Barzun
'Writing about Jacques Barzun is rather like dancing about Baryshnikov.' - Gordon Rumson
French-American historian and writer Jacques Barzun was born on 30 November 1907 at Créteil near Paris, and grew up in Paris and Grenoble, amongst belle epoque 'modernist' artists. From the age of twelve, he attended school in the USA and then Columbia University, where, as an undergraduate, he was a drama critic and president of the Philolexian Society, the University's literary society. He took a PhD at Columbia and taught history there from 1928 until 1955.
He wrote and edited more than forty books covering a very broad range of subjects, including classical music. He became an authority on Hector Berlioz.
Barzun died on 25 October 2012, aged one-hundred-and-four, at his home in San Antonio, Texas.