BRITAIN: Lord Wrath

When Lord Reith, the autocratic founder of the British Broadcasting Corporation, died four years ago at the age of 81, he was covered with honors. During his 16-year reign (1922-38) at the BBC, he had built it into one of Britain's most revered institutions; in return, the towering (6 ft. 6 in.), beetle-browed son of a Presbyterian minister had been rewarded with knighthood, a barony, the Order of the Thistle and a public reputation as one of the great moral pillars of the realm.

Those who knew the private John Reith were less sure whether he was a pillar or...

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