Trials & Tribulations
It was October 1964 when he died.
• • As Mae West was quietly convalescing at home in California, after a hospitalization, she received a shock. Her beloved brother John Edwin West, 64, had a massive heart attack.
• • As he matured, her kid brother's career had stalled. More than once, he had turned to his movie-queen sister for assistance. But Mae also remembered how much she had counted on John's unfailing loyalty during her court trials on Sixth Avenue and Ninth Street. In 1930, for instance, when the Pleasure Man obscenity trial at Jefferson Market Court had bankrupted her, and she was too upset to seek work, John supported his two unemployed sisters and set up a nice household for the three of them in an apartment building on West 57th Street (across the street from Carnegie Hall).
• • Born on 11 February 1900, John Edwin West died during October 1964. Mae made arrangements for his body to be sent back to Brooklyn to the family crypt.
• • Two weeks later, Mae West - - who hated to think about death - - made a Will.
• • Photo: Mae West • • with her brother and sister (all wearing mourning for their mother) • • during the Pleasure Man trial at Jefferson Market Court House in March 1930 • •
New York Public Library