George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) was a prize winning Irish playwright, journalist, polemicist and a public speaker.
- Mr. Shaw was known for his wit and witty phrases such as: “My specialty is being right when other people are wrong” and “My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world“.
- Mr. Shaw did not like the name George and liked being known as simply Bernard Shaw.
- Throughout his busy life, Mr. Shaw was a vegetarian, a socialist, an avid amateur photographer, believed in Eugenics and opposed World War I.
- Mr. Shaw was very vocal in his opposition to vaccination against smallpox, even though he nearly died from the disease.
- Mr. Shaw’s marriage was never consummated.
- When writing a piece for the Voice magazine, George Orwell asked Shaw if he can use a quote from one of his works. Shaw replied: “I veto it ruthlessly“.
- Mr. Whymper in Orwell’s Animal Farm is loosely based on Shaw who praised Stalin in his 1931 visit to the USSR.
- Even though Mr. Shaw refused to accept many prizes, he did accept the Nobel Prize because his wife thought it would bring honor to Ireland. Mr. Shaw won an Oscar in 1938 for Pygmalion (My Fair Lady) and is the only person to win both awards.
- Shaw did not like the aristocracy, when receiving an invitation from a local lord which stated: “Lord C. Will be home Tuesday between 4 and 6“.
Shaw replied: “George Bernard Shaw too“.
- Shaw invited English Prime Minister to the opening of Major Barbara: “Have reserved two tickets for first night. Come and bring a friend if you have one.”
Churchill replied: “Impossible to come to first night. Will come to second night, if you have one.”
Zohar – Man of la Book
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That last comment by Churchill is funny. GK Chesterton and Shaw used to verbally spar all the time too.
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