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The Many Lives of Kenneth Myer

When Kenneth Baillieu Myer's father fell dead on the footpath in 1934, Ken's life changed in that instant. As the elder son of the Jewish immigrant retailing genius, Sidney Baevski Myer, who went from pedlar to philanthropist millionaire in fifteen years, Ken was immediately acknowledged as head of the family at 13 years old. Groomed by his ambitious mother to lead the Myer empire, Ken with his brother oversaw Myer's failure as a major retailing force and sold it to Coles.This biography is about money: making it, giving it and its responsibilities. It explores immigration, assimilation, anti-Semitism and acculturation in twentieth-century Australia. With 'Nugget' Coombs as his mentor, Ken gave away his fortune and founded modern philanthropy in Australia. He spoke, read and wrote Japanese. Visionary and romantic, he was depressive and driven, charming one moment, icy the next; unpretentious, generous, a passionate conservationist and, above all, unconventional. For sinking a Japanese submarine and a German U-boat during the war, he was awarded a DSC and mentioned in dispatches. Happiest when finally free of Myer, he died with his Japanese wife in a plane crash in Alaska in 1992.
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About the Author

After nineteen years with an international publishing house, Sue Ebury retired to live in Hong Kong in 1986, where she edited The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop. An overnight bestseller, it is still in print in 2007. In 1994, Sue's authorised biography Weary: the Life of Sir Edward Dunlop was published and by 1996 had sold more than any other Australian biography. Sue is now a research associate in the History Department of Hong Kong University.

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