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Lady Reading, Wife of Lord Reading, Notable Anglo-jewish Statesman, Dies

Lady Alice Edith Reading, wife of Lord Reading, former Viceroy of India, British Ambassador to the United States, Lord Chief Justice and Attorney-General, died here today. Lady Reading, who married Lord Reading in 1887 when as Rufus Isaacs, he was an unknown and penniless man of 26, is the former Alice Edith Cohen, daughter of Albert Cohen, an American who emigrated to England and became a successful merchant in London. She was born in the United States.

Through her influence the future Lord Reading took up law. During the War she returned, together with her husband, as the wife of the British ambassador. In her five years in India she became beloved throughout the country for her charitable work with women and children. Through her efforts the enormously high rate of infant mortality was greatly reduced. Her slogan was “in the name of the babies let us fight dirt, poverty and disease.”

While engaged in her philanthropic endeavors Lady Reading’s health broke down and at the time prayers were offered for her recovery in temples, mosques and synagogues. The first Labor government bestowed upon her in 1924 the Kaiserhind medal.

Lord Reading said of his wife that “she encouraged me when the skies were black and cheered me when anxieties were deep. She radiated that sympathy which only good women can convey.”

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