Literary critic John Gross dies at 75

By Jennifer Lipman, January 10, 2011

The distinguished Jewish literary critic John Gross has died at the age of 75.

Mr Gross, a prolific author and commentator who was described by The Spectator as “the best-read man in Britain”, spent seven years as editor of The Times Literary Supplement.

He was also a books editor for the New York Times and the Sunday Telegraph’s theatre critic. In 1971 he chaired the judging panel of the Booker prize.

His father was a Polish-born ex-rabbinical student who later moved to Mile End and trained as a doctor.

Mr Gross grew up in what he described as a "residually Orthodox" family, attending City of London School and then Oxford University.

In 2002 he wrote a memoir about his experiences growing up Jewish in wartime Britain.

“A Double Thread” was described by academic Oliver Sacks as "a very beautiful and valuable book.”

Last updated: 5:17pm, January 10 2011