Fun Facts Friday: Joseph P. Lash

December 2, 2022

Joseph P. Lash (2 December, 1909 – 22 August, 1987) was an American journalist and writer. He is known for his Pulitzer Prize winning biography Eleanor and Franklin.

Fun Facts Friday: Joseph P. Lash
Books by Joseph P. Lash*

Fun Facts about Joseph P. Lash

  1. Joseph Paul Lash was born in New Your City to Samuel and Mary Lash, Jewish Russian immigrants.
  2. Mr. Lash graduated from the City College of New York, and received his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1932.
  3. Mr. Lash was attracted to socialism and communism, but was disillusioned by 1939s Nazi-Soviet NonAggression Pact (Hitler-Stalin Pact). He resigned his post as executive secretary of the American Student Union.
  4. The House of Un-American Activities Committee (Dies Committee) subpoenaed him three months after he resigned. On the train to Washington DC, Mr. Lash met First-Lady Roosevelt who boarded the train for moral support and invited them for lunch at the White House.
    The two became lifelong friends.
  5. During World War II, the author served in the U.S. Army Air Force as a sergeant before being promoted to second lieutenant. He continued to correspond with the First Lady, who visited him during her 1943 American Red Cross tour of the Pacific.
  6. In 1944 Mrs. Roosevelt introduced him to Trude Wenzel, who became his wife.
  7. During his distinguished career as a biographer, Joseph P. Lash wrote books about Dag Hammarskjold and Helen Keller.
  8. The book that brought him much fame was Pulitzer Prize winner Eleanor and Franklin, published in 1971, the first installment in his two-volume biography of his personal friend, Eleanor Roosevelt.
  9. The Roosevelt family gave the author access to her papers, which were the basis for the biography. The Pulitzer jurors, however, noted that this was not an “official” biography, and is not labeled as such but simply a vivid and kindly “recreation” of the couple’s life and sometimes troubled relationship.
  10. The second book, Eleanor: The Years Alone, focusing on the 17 years after President Roosevelt passed away, did not enjoy the success of the first, and was thought to be anticlimactic. It was, however, just as scholarly and meticulous as the first.

Books by Joseph P. Lash*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: Joseph P. Lash
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Fun Facts Friday: Joseph P. Lash
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Joseph P. Lash (2 December, 1909 – 22 August, 1987) was an American journalist and writer. He is known for his Pulitzer Prize winning biography Eleanor and Franklin.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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