Frederic Grunfeld

Fred Grunfeld, the author of the definitive biography of the sculptor Rodin published in 1987, roved across Europe as cultural correspondent for the American magazines The Reporter and Horizon, using Deia as his base from 1961 until his death in Barcelona of a heart attack. In the early 1970s, he also edited Queen magazine in London.  Born in 1929 in Berlin, Fred and his family fled the Nazis in 1938. He was educated in New York City public schools, the University of Chicago, and Columbia, where he studied under Jacques Barzun. At home with art, literature and music, he was a prodigy: at the age of 23 he had his own  prime-time program on New York City’s leading classical music station, and then produced records (some of which he also reviewed in magazines). In Deia he was one of the first to buy and remodel derelict houses, in which he lived.  Tall, erudite, bass-voiced, multilingual, and fond of puns, he travelled widely, wrote about India and about his native city while it was still divided. His books included a history of the guitar, a photographic social history of the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis, and (his favorite) “Prophets Without Honor: A Background to Freud, Kafka, Einstein and Their World” (1979).  He was married three times and survived by his three wives, Dorothy Gregory, Toby Molenaar, and Annie O’Sullivan. He is survived by two children from his first marriage, Laura and Foster; and two children from his third marriage, Geoffrey and Adam.