Ben Leider's Tragically Brief Tour in Spain
Benjamin David Leider, a native of Romania, began his life as the son of an impoverished common laborer in New York City. Blessed with an exceptional mind and great energy he rose from his humble beginnings to graduate with honors from the University of Missouris School of Journalism and win a position as labor reporter for the New York Post. An avid pilot, he flew his small Cessna to press assignments and was affectionately known by his colleagues as the "Flying Reporter". Throughout his early career as a journalist, Leider, a member of the American Communist Party, was recognized as an enemy of entrenched plutocracy and a friend of the working class. In September 1936, he resigned his position with the Post and embarked for Spain to help defend the Spanish Republican government. Over the opposition of Loyalist airforce authorities, who argued that Leider did not possess the instincts of a fighter pilot, he would nevertheless eventually claim an aerial victory over the Jarama front before losing his own life on February 19, 1937.
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