Lord Reading Dies at 75; Former Viceroy of India
Menu JTA Search

Lord Reading Dies at 75; Former Viceroy of India

Download PDF for this date

The Marquess of Reading, former Viceroy of India, died today of heart disease aggravated by a recent chill. He was seventy-five years old on Oct. 10.

At his bedside when he died were his wife and son, Viscount Erleigh. They had spent the entire day there since it had become apparent early this morning that his end was near.

Born Rufus Daniel Isaacs, Lord Reading was the first Jew to become a Marquess and the first Jew to hold the positions of Viceroy of India, Attorney General, Lord Chief Justice and British Ambassador to the United States. He was also Foreign Secretary.

Recently, Lord Reading resigned as chairman of the Anglo-German Association in protest against Nazi persecution of Jews. Friends said that the only time he is known to have shown indignation was over the Nazi situation. Until Hitler’s accession to power he had been always ready to promote British cordiality with Germany.

Lord Reading was considered the greatest British Jew since Disraeli. When he visited Palestine in 1932 he was given a reception at the all-Jewish city of Tel Aviv which was described as the most triumphal ever given any visitor except Lord Balfour, author of the Jewish homeland proclamation.

Lord Reading remained active in later life, holding memberships on the boards of companies with a total capital of 120,000,000 pounds, including the presidency of Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd.

He was born in London, the second son of a Covent Garden fruit merchant, who handled shipbroking on the side. His first wife was Alice Edith Cohen of New York. She died in 1910.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund