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Grade, Sir Lew, Lord Grade
Thought it might be fun to have a life peer from England with simple arms on our site as a change of pace. Do note the name pun in the blazon.

Arms: Per chevron grady Vert and Or, in chief two pierced mullets Or, and in base a bear’s gamb erased Sable armed Gules.

SOURCES/NOTES & CREDITS: Illustration for background purposes and the blazon
Burke’s Peerage, 106th edition, 1999, page 1190; text adapted from same and from internet sources particularly Wikipedia.

Sir Lew Grade, Lord Grade is of interest to us from when we first saw his name in the credits of one of The Muppet Shows. It was he who got Jim Henson and the Muppets
to come to England as the location for The Muppet Show to be produced. This worked out well and the show then came to the US with great success.

Sir Lew was born 25 Dec 1906 as Lev Winogradsky in Tokmak, Ukraine, Russian Empire to Isaak and Olga Winogradsky. In 1912 when he was 5 years old this Jewish family emigrated to escape Cossack violence and anti-Semitism. They fled from Odessa
through Berlin to the East End in London. At age 15 Sir Lew went into business for himself as an agent for a clothing company. In 1926 he was declared Charleston dancing champion of the world at the Royal Albert Hall, Fred Astaire was one of the judges. As a professional dancer he changed his name to Lew Grade.

Around 1934 Grade became a talent agent as a partner in a company called Collins and Grade. During WW2 he became involved in arranging entertainment for soldiers of the British army. After the war he formed a partnership with his brother Leslie which became known as the Grade Organization. It grew and grew getting top stars such as Bob Hope and Judy Garland to perform in Britain. In 1954 Sir Lew got into television to continue featuring entertainment talent and produce shows, and got into movie production. He was made Sir Lew as a Knight Bachelor in 1969. In 1976 Sir Lew was made a Life Peer as Baron Grade of Elstree. In the same year Lord Grade was instrumental in bringing The Muppet Show to TV and ensured its success.

We might mention that his brother Bernard, who changed his name to Bernard Delfont, was another entertainment impresario. he was knighted in 1974 and created a life peer as Baron Delfont of Stepney. His brother Leslie also in the entertainment talent business managed to get through life without honours, but his son Michael Ian Grade who is an English television executive and businessman was appointed a CBE in 1998 and in 2011 he was created a life peer as Baron Grade of Yarmouth.

Sir Lew Grade, Lord Grade died on 13 Dec 1998, age 91. He was lucky to the end making the Burke’s Peerage, 106th ed. published in 1999 even though he had already passed on.

The artwork is a rendition of John Hamilton Gaylor

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