What a great article about Josephine Baker, the famous American entertainer featured in the chapter JOSEPHINE in Churchill’s Secret Agent. Max met her when he was a little boy. She stayed at his parents’ villa for a period of time while entertaining at his father’s club in Monte Carlo.

Josephine was an extraordinary woman. She never gave up. When she couldn’t get the opportunities she wanted in the United States, she moved to Europe where she rose to fame. Back in the United States after World War II, she refused to entertain at any venue that wasn’t integrated which caused many clubs to change their policies. Even after Walter Winchell accused her of being a fascist and a communist, a remark which caused many negative repercussions in her life, she continued on.

She adopted and provided a home for a dozen children. Financial hardship forced her to return to the stage over and over. And she went on. In 1961, she received the medal of the Legion d’honneur, the highest honor that can be bestowed in France. Josephine Baker was the first American woman to receive a 21-gun salute, full French military honors at her burial in 1975. Her gravesite is located at the Cimetiere of Monaco. What an extraordinary human being!


  1. Walter Winchell, et al were eating crow after it all came out what Josephine Baker did for the Allies behind enemy lines…
    What’s so great is that your book will showcases even more of her bravery. She was not one to, “Just go along to get along…” and her willingness to stand up to the evil occupying her adopted nation is noteworthy. A lot of folks in the U.S. do not know that Josephine Baker went back to Nazi-occupied France a few times. To this day, most think she spent the bulk of the war years only in North Africa.
    What a special relationship Max had with the first black superstar, exemplified when she would sing to Max, “J’ai duex amours, Mon Pays, Paris.. ET VOUS!” I love that.

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