Category: 1940s

Vintage Our World Magazine Covers

  1. Lena Horne (April 1946)
  2. Joe Louis (June 1948)
  3. Model “Bunny” Evans (November 1949)
  4. Nat King Cole (April 1952)
  5. Eartha Kitt (May 1952)
  6. Dorothy Dandridge (June 1952)
  7. Dancer Lavinia Hamilton (October 1954)

Dorothy Dandridge’s daughter Harolyn Nicholas

Harolyn Suzanne Nicholas was born to actress Dorothy Dandridge and her husband dancer Harold Nicholas (of the Nicholas Brothers) on September 2, 1943. Harold was inattentive of Dorothy and when she was in labor he dropped her off at her sister-in-law’s home while he went out to play golf. Dorothy wanted to wait until he returned before they went to the hospital but when the pains became too intense they left without out him. They had to take a neighbor’s car since Harold took their car. 

Dorothy’s delivery was strenuous and Harolyn was born with brain damage called

cerebral anoxia, possibly due to her delayed birth or the use of forceps during her birth. At first she didn’t think anything was wrong with Harolyn, but at the age of two she was still not speaking. Dorothy took her to a doctor who confirmed that she was mentally disabled. The doctor advised Dorothy to give Harolyn up and have another child but she refused. 

While dealing with this Harold was largely absent and having affairs throughout their relationship. By 1948 he had abandoned his family, so Dorothy finally filed for divorce after 8 years of marriage in 1950. Since Harold refused to financially contribute, Dorothy raised her daughter as a single parent.

Harolyn’s disability required constant care and expenses took it’s toll after Dorothy’s divorce from Jack Denison in 1962 left her in debt. Dorothy filed for bankruptcy. She was forced to sell her Hollywood home and place her daughter in a state mental institution in

Camarillo, California. Dorothy avoided speaking publicly about her daughter until 1963 when she appeared on Cleveland’s The Mike Douglas Show. She was praised for bringing awareness to mental retardation and her moving segment was shown throughout the country. 

“I never really thought I could give my daughter up to an institution. I guess the longest period of time that I have been away from her was about six months. Actually, she has no conception of time. She doesn’t know how long I’ve been away. She doesn’t even know I’m her mother. She only knows that she likes me and I like her, and she feels warmth and that I’m a nice person.”

Dorothy died at the age of 42 from an embolism on September 8, 1965. Harolyn remained in the state’s care. No word on whether any family member ever visited her. According to some online sources she died in 2003, but there are no reports about her death. Allegedly no one claimed her body.

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Lena Horne photographed by Carl Van Vechten

at Greenwood Lake on September 15, 1941.

The

Nat King Cole Quartet photographed by Herman Leonard in New York, 1949.   

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Dolores Del Rio photographed by Laszlo Willinger, 1940.

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Joe Louis and Lena Horne photographed by Carl Van Vechten at Greenwood Lake on September 15, 1941.

Lena Horne was visiting boxer Joe Louis while he trained. The book Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne, details their romance. Both were married to other people, and Louis had even become a father in February 1943. But the world champion of heavyweight boxing kept visiting the Stormy Weather set to see Horne, whom he’d reportedly met at the

New York City nightclub

Café Society. 

Joe spoke openly of their on-again, off-again affair to his friend Alice Key; Horne flaunted a mink coat he’d given to her. On November 12, 1942, Billy Rowe had reported the widespread rumor that Louis, then an army sergeant would divorce his wife to marry Horne. Both he and Horne issued vague denials. “I think that Lena is a grand person, on and off the screen, but that doesn’t mean I want to marry her or vice versa,” said the boxer. Added Horne, Sergeant Louis and I have been friends for several years and to me, like fifty million others, he’s a symbol of greatness. I can certainly admire him and be in his company without hopping off to the alter.”

Vintage Jazz Concert Posters

  1. Sylvan Gardens (Sand Lake, Michigan) – July 21, 1933

  2. Riverview Ballroom (Neponset, Massachusetts) – August 9, 1935

  3. State Theater (Hartford, Connecticut) – March 10, 1943

  4. Sacramento Auditorium (Sacramento, California) – March 1, 1949
  5. Memorial Auditorium (Chattanooga, Tennessee) – September 15, 1954

  6. Town Hall (New York, New York) – October 30, 1954
  7. Sports Arena (Toledo, Ohio) – January 15, 1956
  8. Regal Theater (Chicago, Illinois) – August 14, 1959

  9. Regal Theater (Chicago, Illinois) – December 25-31, 1959 

  10. Kleinhans Music Hall (Buffalo, New York) – April 30, 1961

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Josephine Baker backstage with French hair stylist Jean Clement in Venice, 1949.

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Marilyn Monroe photographed by Arthur Weegee, 1949.

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W.E.B. Du Bois photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1946.