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Richard CrossmanRichard CrossmanRichard CrossmanRichard CrossmanRichard CrossmanRichard Crossman

1907, 15th December
Richard Howard Stafford Crossman born in Bayswater, London1
Won a scholarship to Winchester. Became a Senior Scholar, Prefect of Hall, and Captain of Football2
1926 Became a socialist whilst a student at Winchester, along with Hugh Gaitskell. They were both inspired by the General Strike of 19263
1926 Won a scholarship to the University of Oxford4
1929 Contributed poems to the 1929 Oxford Poetry, Blackwell5
1930, 16th October Graduated with a First in an Arts Degree from the University of Oxford6
1932, 15th July
Married Erika Susanna Gluck7
1932 Fellow of New College, Oxford8
1933 Organised a series of lectures on National Socialism9
1934 Divorced Erika Gluck
1934 Crossman elected to Oxford City Council as a Labour Party representative10
1936-1940 Leader of the Labour group on the council
1937 Wrote Plato Today11
1937 Turned to journalism and also became a tutor under the Workers Educational Association12
1937, 18 December Married Inezita Baker
1938 Adopted as Labour candidate for Coventry, but the outbreak of war prevented him from contesting an election13
1938 Wrote Socrates14
1938 Assistant Editor to Kingsley Martin at the New Statesman
1939 Wrote Government and the Governed15
1941-1945 Appointed head of the German Division at the Political Warfare Executive in London. Worked to distribute propaganda in Germany with the BBC.
1943 Led the Anglo-American propaganda team in North Africa.
1944 Takes up as a senior post in the psychological warfare division of SHAEF (Allied Supreme Headquarters) under General Eisenhower. In this role he took part in the planning of propaganda in connection with the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy16.
1944 Crossman very ill (‘at death’s door’)17
1945 Elected Labour Member of Parliament for Coventry East18
1945 Appointed by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry into Palestine
1946 Wrote Palestine Mission: A Personal Record
1947 Crossman began to speak at Zionist meetings19
1947-1951 Helped to organise the Keep Left Group – later the Bevanite Group – a left-wing group within the Labour Party20
1952 Death of Zita Baker, Crossman’s second wife
1954, 3rd June Married Anne Patricia McDougall
1955 Left the New Statesman for the Daily Mirror, where wrote a column three or four times a week on international affairs and national politics
1960 Wrote A Nation Reborn: The Israel of Weizmann, Bevin and Ben-Gurion
1964, 15th-17th October General Election won by the Labour Party. Crossman appointed Minister of Housing and Local Government by Harold Wilson.
1966 Appointed Lord President and Leader of the House
1967-1970 Secretary of State for the Social Services
Early 1970s Crossman’s two BBC TV series ‘Crosstalk’21
1972 Wrote The Myths of Cabinet Government
1974, 5th April Dies from liver cancer at the age of sixty-seven22
1975, 1976, 1977 The Crossman Diaries are posthumously published.

Andrew Burchell and Marie-Astrid Purton, August 2012


1. University of Warwick, Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’,'DS%2FUK%2F15'&dsqCmd=Show.tcl, accessed 25/08/2012.

2. In file MSS.154/6/10/12, Newspaper Article, April 1939.

3. MSS.154/4/BR/10/5.

4. Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’.

5. MSS.154/6/9/9.

6. MSS.154/3/AU/1/54 ‘Certificate from the University of Oxford’ and MSS.154/6/10/12, ‘Newspaper cutting’, 16 June 1945.

7. Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’.

8. Ibid.

9. Newspaper cutting MSS.154/6/10/12 29 April 1939.

10. Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’.

11. Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’.

12. Newspaper cutting, MSS.154/6/10/12, 16 June 1945.

13. Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’.

14. Ibid.

15. Ibid.

16. MSS.154/6/10/12, Newspaper cutting, 16 June 1945.

17. Letter from Crossman to Tosco [presumably a friend] 14th January 1944 MSS.154/3/AU/1/98.

18. Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’.

19. MSS.154/4/BR/10/157 18.3.64.

20. Crossman, Richard, The Myths of Cabinet Government, (Cambridge, 1972) p.x.

21. P.48 Anthony Howard.

22. Modern Records Centre, ‘Richard Crossman: Biographical Details’.