Harold Laski


Biography of Harold Laski

Harold Joseph Laski (30 June 1893 – 24 March 1950) was a British Marxist, political theorist, economist, author, and lecturer, who served as the chairman of the Labour Party during 1945–1946, and was a professor at the London School of Economics from 1926 to 1950.

Harold Laski was born in Manchester on 30 June 1893 to Nathan Laski and Sarah Laski (née Frankenstein). Nathan Laski was a Jewish cotton merchant and a member of the Liberal Party. His elder brother was Neville Laski. A cousin was the author and publisher Anthony Blond. Harold did his schooling at the Manchester Grammar School. In 1911, he studied Eugenics under Karl Pearson for six months. The same year he met and married Frida Kerry, a lecturer of Eugenics. His marriage to Frida, a gentile and eight years his senior antagonized his family. He also repudiated his faith in Judaism, claiming that Reason prevented him from believing in God. In 1914, he obtained an undergraduate degree in History from New College, Oxford. He was awarded the Beit memorial prize during his time at New College. He failed his medical eligibility tests and thus missed fighting in World War I. After graduation he worked briefly at the Daily Herald under George Lansbury. His daughter Diana was born in 1916.

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