George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) (1903-1950)

Death: 21st January 1950
Location: All Saints' Churchyard, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, England
Cause of Death: Tuberculosis
Photo taken by: Clive and Chris
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British author and journalist, best known for Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. He was born in India and he was taken to England by his mother when he was one year old. He studied at Eton, but did not go on to attend University as his family could not afford it. In 1922 he joined the Indian Imperial Police in Burma but five years later when he was in England on leave he resigned to become a writer.
In 1928 he moved to Paris with the intention of making a living with his writing, but he was forced into menial work which formed the basis for his first book Down and Out in Paris and London.  In 1936 he went to Spain to fight on the side of the Republicans in the Civil War, but he was shot in the neck and nearly died. Orwell recounted his experiences during the Civil War in Homage to Catalonia. In 1941 he took a job with the BBC where he worked on programmes to gain support for the United Kingdom’s war effort.
Orwell died from tuberculosis which it is believed that he contracted during the period of his life that is recounted in Down and Out in Paris and London. His influence on the English language has been immense as he coined the phrases ‘Big Brother’ and ‘thought police’ and the adjective ‘Orwellian’ is used to refer to oppressive forms of government.