Henri Bergson, Famed Philosopher, Dead in France at 81

The death of Prof. Henri Bergson, world famous French Jewish philosopher, writer and lecturer, was announced here today. He was 81.

Early last month Bergson, whose influence on contemporary thought was profound, declined the French Government’s offer of exemption from the regulations requiring the resignation of Jewish employes from State positions. He resigned from his position in the College de France.

Prof. Bergson had been in poor health for some time and had not for several years been actively lecturing at the College de France. In 1927 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Considered one of the greatest thinkers of modern days he had been usually associated with Prof. Albert Einstein and Prof. Sigmund Freud as one of the outstanding examples of Jewish genius in all directions of thought.

Prof. Bergson was born in Paris on Oct. 18, 1859, the son of Michael Bergson, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, who settled in Paris and became a naturalized Frenchman. His mother, Kate Bergson, was an Englishwoman.

He was a brilliant student and carried off nearly every prize open to him. In 1900 he was elected to a professorship at the College de France, which is the highest French research institution. He served as a French Cabinet minister in 1918 and as president of the Committee on International Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations from 1921 to 1925. He was a member of the French Academy and had been awarded degrees by famous universities throughout the world. He twice visited the United States for lectures.

During the World War Bergson bent all his influence in the cause of the Allies. His great work, “Creative Evolution,” published in 1907, has had an enormous influence on both science and philosophy.

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