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Richard Howard Stafford Crossman born in Bayswater, London, on 15 December 1


Won a scholarship to Winchester. Became a Senior Scholar, Prefect of Hall, and Captain of Football 2


Became a socialist whilst a student at Winchester, along with Hugh Gaitskell. They were both inspired by the General Strike of 1926 3

Won a scholarship to the University of Oxford 4


Contributed poems to the 1929 Oxford Poetry, Blackwell 5


Graduated with a First in an Arts Degree from the University of Oxford on 16 October 6


Married Erika Susanna Gluck on 15 July 7

Fellow of New College, Oxford 8


Organised a series of lectures on National Socialism 9


Divorced Erika Gluck

Crossman elected to Oxford City Council as a Labour Party representative 10


Leader of the Labour group on the council


Wrote Plato Today 11

Turned to journalism and also became a tutor under the Workers Educational Association 12

Married Inezita Baker on 18 December


Adopted as Labour candidate for Coventry, but the outbreak of war prevented him from contesting an election 13

Wrote Socrates 14

Assistant Editor to Kingsley Martin at the New Statesman


Wrote Government and the Governed 15


Appointed head of the German Division at the Political Warfare Executive in London. Worked to distribute propaganda in Germany with the BBC.


Led the Anglo-American propaganda team in North Africa.


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 Italy 16

Crossman very ill (‘at death’s door’) 17


Elected Labour Member of Parliament for Coventry East 18

Appointed by Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to the Anglo-American Commission of Inquiry into Palestine


Wrote Palestine Mission: A Personal Record


Crossman began to speak at Zionist meetings 19


Helped to organise the Keep Left Group – later the Bevanite Group – a left-wing group within the Labour Party 20


Death of Zita Baker, Crossman’s second wife


Married Anne Patricia McDougall on 3 June


Left the New Statesman for the Daily Mirror, where wrote a column three or four times a week on international affairs and national politics


Wrote A Nation Reborn: The Israel of Weizmann, Bevin and Ben-Gurion


15-17 October: General Election won by the Labour Party. Crossman appointed Minister of Housing and Local Government by Harold Wilson.


Appointed Lord President and Leader of the House


Secretary of State for the Social Services

Early 1970s

Crossman’s two BBC TV series ‘Crosstalk’ 21


Wrote The Myths of Cabinet Government


Dies from liver cancer on 5 April at the age of sixty-seven 22


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', 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’.