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So much is lost with each passing generation. Today, most families retain memories through photographs and videos, letters and tape recordings. Our father, GEORGE RONY was a tour de force, a man with a brilliant mind, Russian intensity, historical curiousity, artistic sensibility and a charming social rapport. He was born on Black Sunday of Czarist Russia, a pivotal event that set in motion a political drama that reshaped and changed the destiny of the country. Due to the chaos of that day, his birth was not recorded until five months later according to the Julian calendar of his homeland. However, in his adopted country, America, where the Gregorian calendar prevails, the date of his birth differed by 13 days. He turned this unusual situation to his advantage by explaining that it took three birthdays to make a man like him. No, we did not celebrate all three dates.

This was not immodest praise. From his childhood days, he had a great hunger to move to America and enthusiastically devoured the popular literature of the Western nation. He also had an early, innate sense of history and recognized that the tumultous times in which he lived also afforded the opportunity for him to film ambitious, often strident, political leaders and dictators, statesmen and madmen.

The large Spanish-style Hollywood home in which we were raised was a testament to our father's intellectual and artistic curiosity. It housed his extensive collection of African, Asian and Pre-Columbian art, stamp albums of every country, and copies of many great Impressionist artists--Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso, Latrec, Gaughin--which he painted as he took on a new hobby in his 50's. At the rear of the property he built a studio to store and edit his documentary footage. His days and nights were filled editing film in his backyard darkroom, delicately mounting stamps, and painting oil copies of the Masters.

GEORGE RONY passed away on December 9, 1971. His paintings and artwork now adorn the homes of his children. His film library, the bulk of it on perishable nitrate stock, was donated to the Library of Congress; his books went to researchers and his extensive stamp collection was sold over the course of the past 35 years. His written legacy--autobiography, film scripts, teleprompter rolls, lecture promotional materials, coin research and correspondence--has been safely preserved.

GEORGE RONY left this legacy to his two children. He never met his grandchildren and great grandchildren. It is only through the artistic and professional remnants of his life that they can take the measure of this imposing and indominable man.

We have developed this website so that his lifetime work will become a robust source of inspiration and admiration for the generations of Rony children that follow him and for people everywhere who draw wisdom and inspiration from his intellectual examination of history through film, art and stamps.

Ellen Rony and Peter Rony
May 1, 2008  

Copyright © 2008 Ellen Rony and Peter Rony. All Rights Reserved.
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