Harold Luce – A Memorable Man
Harold Luce was an active Navy Veteran working at Anderson Screw Products. He had two children – Randy and Christine – as well as two grandchildren Adam and Frankie “April”.
Luce and Hadden launched Time magazine and tailored it to reflect their own political opinions. He also published Fortune and Life magazines.
Early Life and Education
Harold Luce was born in Tengchow, China to Presbyterian missionary parents. While in China he attended Cheefoo School for one year; before coming back home he attended Hotchkiss school before finally entering Yale University.
His family background afforded him an unusual level of religious knowledge among businessmen at that time; he especially relished speaking to groups of religious individuals. Luce considered himself an amateur theologian and actively participated in church groups.
Ezra was also an accomplished old-time fiddle player, beginning his musical journey in 1934 with Ed Larkin contra dancers. Since then he had performed at Tunbridge Fair and two World’s Fairs in New York City as well as weddings, funerals, hospitals, talent shows and talent shows; weddings; funerals; hospitals as well as talent shows! He loved this instrument so much he played it his entire life; at home however he always put family first and placed priority upon raising their own.
Harold was an individual of many talents and interests. He loved spending time with family and friends, particularly his granddaughter Frankie “April” Hill of Ogallala Nebraska; brother Russell Luce of Gering Nebraska with wife Jean; sister Yvonne Conklin from Scottsbluff Nebraska; as well as several nieces and nephews.
The Literary File contains correspondence with writers, journalists, artists and politicians as well as drafts of her two plays The Women (1936) and Kiss the Boys Goodbye (1938). Business records consist of Vanity Fair reports, suggestions for articles and staff memos; additional materials relate to President Eisenhower appointing her as ambassador to Brazil but then withdrawing after controversy surrounding her comments during confirmation hearings.
Achievement and Honors
Harold Luce was an esteemed fiddler who delighted audiences at contra dances and the Ed Larkin Old Time Music group for decades. His dry sense of humor and skill with a fiddle brought joy and laughter to many; all who knew him will miss his music and personality greatly.
Luce traveled extensively throughout Europe as a war correspondent for Life magazine during World War II, reporting from battlefronts which inspired her later writing and had an enormous effect on American foreign policy.
Luce also wrote plays for theater. Her first psychological drama Abide With Me about an abusive husband proved both critically acclaimed and commercially popular; later works such as The Women and Margin of Error were equally well received; some even making their way onto film!
Luce was an integral member of his community and loved meeting new people. He was an exceptional father and friend who always strived to do what was right by those he met.
Brinkley observes that, despite his success, Luce was flawed individual. Luce supported American intervention in Vietnam as well as expanding American influence in other parts of the world.
Chiang Kai-Shek supported an ongoing military confrontation between America and Communist China after World War II had ended, in hopes that America could defeat Mao and restore Chiang Kai-Shek as president.
In his later years, he performed as a fiddle player for the Ed Larkin Contra Dancers and at two World’s Fairs; weddings, funerals, hospitals and talent shows. Additionally he would frequently visit senior citizen homes to entertain residents with traditional fiddle tunes.
He left all of his estate to his mother with the special provision that any shares in Time Incorporated were to remain unsold for 49 years, to prevent Lucie Luce from taking control. It appears this clause may have been part of an arrangement with Hadden. Hadden and Luce often clashed on various business issues, including publishing an additional magazine called Fortune. He also took issue with his missionary impulse – leading him to fund Neo-Nazi groups in Europe. Luce’s businessman-journalist sensibilities probably kept him from going too far with this endeavor, since he didn’t want his magazines discredited in the eyes of their readers – something which became especially crucial when he started debriefing with Allen Dulles’ Central Intelligence Agency.