BEN-TSIEN MAYMON (b. March 2, 1877)
He was born in Krivozer (Krivoye Ozero), Podolia region, Ukraine, the son of a tailor. In 1890 he moved with his parents to the United States. Until 1912 he lived in Philadelphia, where he graduated from Temple University. He was a cofounder of the Workmen’s Circle in Philadelphia. In the 1920s he traveled across the United States, giving speeches for Workmen’s Circle and the Jewish Socialist Federation. He began his journalistic work with articles in Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia. Until 1935 he was its special Washington correspondent. Over the period 1940-1950, he was an internal contributor to the newspaper. He became widely known for his series “Briv fun vashington” (Letter from Washington). “He was a great expert in American and general politics,” noted Hillel Rogof, “which rose through his illumination to essays of permanent value.” He was among the first journalists to interview Eugene V. Debs, when he was amnestied, and later covered his campaign for president. He did the same during the election of Meyer London for congressman. He was a member of the National Press Club in Washington and traveled with President Roosevelt during his campaign tour through America in 1936. For a time he served as editor of Shikager forverts (Chicago forward). For many years he contributed to Di tsukunft (The future), Der veker (The alarm), Der fraynd (The friend), and to the union periodicals Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), Forshrit (Progress), and Justice—all in New York. His articles on America were reprinted in: Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), Dos naye leben (The new life) in Bialystok, Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga, Di tsayt (The times) in Vilna, Idishe shtime (Jewish voice) in Kovno, and in the Yiddish press in South America. He authored the pamphlet Ayere kandidatn (Your candidates), on the features of the candidates for president and vice-president (New York, 1942), 14 pp. From 1950 he withdrew from these activities. He was last living in Washington.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, cols. 430-32; D. Pinski, in Di tsayt (New York) (December 23, 1921); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; A. Litvak, in Forverts (New York) (April 9, 1931); M. Epshteyn, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (February 8, 1933); M. Osherovitsh, in 75 yor yidishe prese in amerike (Seventy-five years of the Yiddish press in America) (New York, 1945), p. 61; Hillel Rogof, Der gayst fun forverts (The spirit of the Forward) (New York, 1954), pp. 210, 234, 262; Y. Horn, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (November 14, 1954); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (May 22, 1956); Y. Levin-Shatskes, in Der veker (New York) (May 1, 1957); Y. Yeshurin, in Arbeter ring, boyer un tuer (Workmen’s Circle, builders and leaders) (New York, 1962), p. 243.
Khayim Leyb Fuks