Paul Rand's Grandfather
Paul Rand told me that his maternal grandfather, Herman Hecht, had been murdered while tending to a ritual bath. We didn’t talk about it much after that, although I know it was very heartbreaking for him and his family. When I was working on Rand’s biography I gave it a passing reference, as I could not find documentation at the time, and nothing was saved in Rand’s records. Nonetheless it is a key event in Rand’s history. A few years after my book was published, I was approached by a doctoral candidate who was working on something related to Rand (frankly, I’ve forgotten what) and had uncovered details about the crime. Rand’s recollection did not exactly mesh with the police report, but it was nonetheless a savage, fatal attack in Rand’s grandfather’s home. It had been written up as unsolved in a crime-beat report in the New York Times (April 21, 1938). But a year later two arrests were made. These clippings were provided by the doctoral candidate (whose identity apologetically I do not recall) and are also available as text on the Times site.