Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ralph de Toledano dies.

Conservative columnist and author Ralph de Toledano died of cancer at the age of 90. In 1950 de Toledano was assigned by Newsweek to cover the trial of Alger Hiss and this brought about his disillusionment with the political Left. He came to believe, correctly as history has since proven, that Hiss had lied about being a Soviet agent. In 1950 he wrote a book on the Hiss case Seeds of Treason. The New York Times calls it “intensely partisan” but it was more correct on the case than the mainstream media which portrayed Hiss as a victim.

De Toledano had previously been an editor of New Leader the organ of the American Socialist Party and then worked a publicity director for the far left International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. He eventually became an editor of National Review but according to a son he ended his life considering himself more of a libertarian than a conservative.

Born August 14, 1916 he Morocco to Sephardic Jewish parents. His father was a businessman and journalist and his mother a news correspondent. His parents brought him to the US as a child. He was educated at Julliard and Columbia University. An avid jazz fan his politics took over and he become a political activist instead.

Photo: Hiss giving false testimony regarding his role as a Soviet agent.