Concept

Laurence Claiborne Witten II

Summary
Laurence C. Witten II (Larry Witten, April 3, 1926 – April 18, 1995), was an American rare book dealer and collector of antiquities. Laurence Witten was born into a wealthy Virginia family with interests in the tobacco and furniture manufacturing businesses, but was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, the son of life insurance agent Laurence Claiborne Witten I (1886-1937) & Julia (née McLaren), He enlisted in the army in the Second World War, and after the war studied music at Williams College, graduating in 1948. He then went on to gain a Bachelor of Music degree (BMus) at Yale in 1951. He then opened Laurence Witten Rare Books close to Yale's Sterling Library in New Haven, Connecticut, taking advantage of the dollar's strength to buy large quantities of early books and manuscripts in Europe. He married Cora Williams, a Yale student from Georgia, in 1954, the year she gained her BMus, and the first of their three daughters was born in 1955. In many cases, European d
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