Robert K. Massie, Narrator of Russian History

Robert K. Massie, Narrator of Russian History, Is Dead at 90

Robert Kinloch Massie III was born in Versailles, Ky., on Jan. 5, 1929. His father, Robert Jr., was an educator and his mother, Molly (Kimball) Massie, was a progressive activist. He grew up in Versailles and in Nashville.

After graduating from high school in Nashville, he earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies at Yale and another degree in the field at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar before serving in the Navy. In addition to working at The Saturday Evening Post, he had stints as a journalist at Collier’s and Newsweek. He taught briefly at Princeton and Tulane and was president of the Authors Guild.

His marriage to Suzanne Rohrbach in 1954 ended in divorce in 1990. Suzanne Massie’s books include “Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia” (1980), which President Ronald Reagan read. She met a number of times with Reagan, and she was widely credited with telling him of the Russian proverb “doveryai, no proveryai” — “trust, but verify” — which he repeated in a meeting on arms control with the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

Mr. Massie married Ms. Karl in 1992.

In addition to her and his son Bob, he is survived by two daughters, Susanna Thomas and Elizabeth Massie, from his first marriage; a son, Christopher, and two daughters, Sophia and Nora Massie, from his second; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson. His brother, Walter Massie, who went by Kim, died last year, also on Dec. 2.

Mr. Massie’s love of books — particularly the ones that fueled his own formidable literary output — was downright visceral. In an essay for The New York Times Book Review in 2012, he told of moving his many books on Catherine from his office to a nearby spot so he could visit them as “friends.” He said he showed the same respect to books in libraries.

“I like to make sure they are alive and well,” he wrote. “If they have collected dust, I take out the small towel I carry in my briefcase and wipe them off.”

Daniel E. Slotnik contributed reporting.read more

- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More

History of Maldives

History of Maldives Recent archaeological evidence suggests that the islands of the Maldives were first settled in 1500 BC. The islands seem to have been

history of Netherlands

history of Netherlands The oldest human life in the area, now known as the Netherlands, did so some 40,000 years ago. At that time, people were gathering

History of Maharana Pratap

history of maharana pratap Birth: Maharana Pratap was born on May 9, 1540, at Kambhalgarh, Fort of...

Recent

Pakistan’s first Constituent Assembly

Pakistan's first Constituent Assembly At the time of Pakistan's first Constituent Assembly independence, the Indian Freedom Act came into...

History of Namibia

History of Namibia History of Namibia The history of this land can be found in the carvings of...

Bhutan history

Bhutan history The name Bhutan originates from the Sanskrit 'Bhutan' which means 'end of Tibet' or 'Bho-Atan' means the crown...