Belden, James Orson, 1914-1998

James Orson Belden, born in Rochester, New York on August 4, 1914, was a long time fan and friend of Lillian Gish.

The friendship started when he wrote to her enclosing a copy of The Duchess of Malfi. This began a long-time friendly correspondence discussing the theater, film and literature. Belden's interests included silent film, literature, art, music and theater. He was mostly self-taught having attended Aquinas High School in Rochester, New York. During World War II, he worked as a clerk in the Ordinance section of the War Department and was stationed in England during that time. After the war, Belden applied for work in the Foreign Service. He was sent to Belgium in 1947 where he held the position of visa specialist. Throughout most of his career he was stationed in Western Europe having assignments in England (1953-1963) and in France (1963-1967). James Orson Belden retired to the United States and lived in Wilmington, Delaware where he died on August 12, 1998.


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