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James Philip Lardner


Lardner, James Phillip


k-Lardner, James Philip. b. May 18, 1914, Chicago, Illinois; Attended Harvard University through his junior year; Single; Newspaperman; No Party affiliation; received passport# 180191 on April 19, 1935 which listed his address as 47 West 8th Street, NYC; Arrived in Spain on April 1, 1938; Initially was working as a journalist for New York Herald before enlisting in the Republican Army; Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln-Washington BN, Co. 2, attended NCO school rank- corporal, later Lincoln-Washington BN, Co. 3, rank Soldado; Ebro Offensive wounded and returned, Killed in action September  22, 1938, Ebro Offensive.

Source: SACB, Pay, RA, USSDA 2:0702, 56:0749; ALBA 067 James Lardner Papers, Ring, Jr. The Lardners: My Family Remembered. (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1976.) Sheean, Vincent. Not Peace but a Sword.(New York: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1939.)

Photograph: Jim Lardner in Spain, RA Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 930.



James Lardner was born on May 18, 1914 in Chicago, Illinois. He was the second of four sons born to Ringgold (Ring) Wilmer Lardner, journalist and humorist, and Ellis Abbott Lardner, a Smith College graduate from a prominent Michigan family. In 1919, the Lardner family moved East and James, with his brothers, was raised in the affluent enclaves of Greenwich, Connecticut and Great Neck, Long Island. The boys came of age in the rich literary milieu formed by the writers and journalists the senior Lardners counted among their friends, including F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Heywood Broun, and H. L. Mencken.

Lardner attended Andover and Harvard and, following his education, was hired as reporter for the New York Herald Tribune. According to his brother, Ring Lardner, Jr., James' early journalism experiences were a "monotonous round of funerals, banquets, strikes, accidents and minor crimes …" After three years in New York City, Lardner transferred to the Herald Tribune'sParis bureau in 1938. While there he began writing articles on the participation of American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War. In March 1938 Lardner traveled to Barcelona in the company of fellow journalists Ernest Hemingway and Vincent Sheean to observe the conflict first hand. After witnessing an aerial battle that destroyed a bridge on the Ebro River and the dire state of the Loyalist forces, Lardner resolved to join the International Brigades.

His initial attempt to enlist found him in a ragged battalion in Badalona far from the field of action. Eager to participate in the conflict he left Badalona, made his way to Mora-la-Nueva, and enlisted in the Third Company of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade early in May. In July he sustained shrapnel injuries during his first battle. After a month of hospitalization he was returned to active duty in the Sierra Pandols region near the Ebro.

On September 23, 1938, on what was to be last day of fighting for the International Brigades, Lardner with two other men in his command were sent out to patrol a hill to the rear of his battalion. They encountered heavy enemy fire and Lardner did not return to camp. His death was confirmed several weeks later when a Nationalist correspondent reported that a body with foreign press credentials had been found in the location where Lardner was last seen. His body, which was discovered in fascist-controlled territory, was never recovered. According to Sheean, "Lardner, the last American to enlist, had been the last to be killed."

- Biography courtesy of Tamiment Library, NYU.  Also see the ALBA Digital Library.

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Jim Lardner from Life Magazine

Full Database Record

Last Name Lardner
First/Middle Name James Philip
Ethnicity Note
Immigration Status
AKA Last Name 1
AKA First / Middle 1
AKA Last Name 2
AKA First / Middle 2
Foreign Nation
Foreign Nation City
Alt Pob State, City
Family: Name
Family: Relationship
Family: Begin Date
Family: End Date
Family: Comments
Education HS
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Graduate or Doctoral Work
Graduate or Doctoral Work Notes
Prior Military Service
Passport #
Passport Series
Passport Reported Lost in Spain
Passport Age
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PP or Known Address Street
PP or Known Address City
PP or Known Address State
ALT City
Alt State
Sail Date
Marital Status
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Vocation 1
Vocation 2
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Party Affiliation
Date Affiliation
ALT Affiliation
ALT date
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Arrival (in Spain) Date
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KIA/MIA/Died other Date
KIA/MIA/Died other Location
KIA/MIA/Died other Battle
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