J. Bowyer Bell

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American historian and artist

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According to Wikipedia, John Bowyer Bell was an American historian, artist and art critic. He was best known as a terrorism expert. Background and early life Bell was born into an Episcopalian family in 1931 in New York City. The family later moved to Alabama, from where Bell attended Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, majoring in history. He also studied art, and discovered he had "total visual memory"—the equivalent of perfect pitch in a singer. His first solo art showing was in the college library in his senior year. He considered becoming a professional artist and made frequent visits to New York to visit other artists, including his hero Franz Kline, but committed to academia. Bell graduated in 1953, and began studying the Spanish Civil War at Duke University in North Carolina. Bell interrupted his studies at Duke after being awarded a Fulbright, and travelled to Italy to study at the University of Rome. Bell travelled Europe interviewing veterans of the Spanish Civil War, and in Rome he mixed with writers and artists including Cy Twombly. After returning to America, Bell completed his doctorate at Duke in 1958.

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