George Bernard Shaw Facts

"My speciality is being right when other people are wrong."
George Bernard Shaw - You Never Can Tell, Act IV

George Bernard Shaw was known for his wit, it even led to creation of a Shawism - witty phrase:
"My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world."
- George Bernard Shaw
  • George Bernard Shaw was an iconoclastic playwright, journalist, polemicist, scintillating public speaker, arts reviewer and campaigning socialist,
  • Shaw actually hated the George in his name, and used just Bernard Shaw
  • With Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and Graham Wallas, George Bernard Shaw was a co-founder of the London School of Economics.
  • George Bernard Shaw was a leading member of the Fabian society (a, along with luminaries such as Annie Besant and the Webbs
George Bernard Shaw was
  • A committed vegetarian
  • A socialist
  • Opponent of First World War
  • Supported belief in Eugenics.

  • Despite nearly dieing from smallpox, Shaw joined a public campaign in opposition to vaccination against smallpox.
  • Shaw helped T.E. Lawrence, with his book the Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  • Shaw was a keen amateur photographer.
  • He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938) for work on transcribing Pygmalion (adaption of his play of the same name).
  • He married but it was never consummated and he had no children
  • When George Orwell asked George Bernard Shaw for permission to quote from one of his works in a BBC interview for the 'Voice', magazine programme, to be broadcast by the Indian Service Shaw responded with the terse refusal "I veto it ruthlessly".
  • In George Orwell's Animal Farm, Mr. Whymper a man hired by Napoleon to represent Animal Farm in human society, is loosely based on George Bernard Shaw who visited the U.S.S.R. in 1931 and praised Stalin and what he found.
  • George Bernard Shaw rejected many honours during his lifetime. He only accepted the Nobel Prize at the behest of his wife who thought it would bring honour to Ireland.
  • Shaw was a strident critic of contemporary education. in his Treatise on Parents and Children he considered the curriculum useless.
  • George Bernard Shaw had no particular religion, but was receptive to a range of religious views: "(my) religious convictions and scientific views cannot at present be more specifically defined than as those of a believer in creative revolution."
He spoke warmly of religions such as Hinduism.
"The apparent multiplicity of Gods is bewildering at the first glance; but you presently discover that they are all the same one God in different aspects and functions and even sexes. There is always one uttermost God who defies personification."
George Bernard Shaw and Churchill

George Bernard Shaw telegrammed Winston Churchill just prior to the opening of Major Barbara: "Have reserved two tickets for first night. Come and bring a friend if you have one."

Churchill wired back, "Impossible to come to first night. Will come to second night, if you have one."

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