Frederic Morton (right) is honoured by Austrian
Federal President Thomas Klestil (†) on 25 June 2003
Frederic Morton (born October 5, 1924) is a Jewish Austrian writer who emigrated to the United States in 1940.
Born Fritz Mandelbaum in Vienna, Morton was raised as the son of a blacksmith who had specialised in forging imperial medals. In the wake of the Anschluss of 1938 his father was arrested but later released again. In 1939 the family fled to Britain, and the following year they came to New York. Morton says that back in 1940 his father decided, with a heavy heart, to change their family name to Morton to be able to join the then anti-Semitic labor union.
Frederic Morton first worked as a baker but from 1949 studied literature. In 1951 he visited Austria again for the first time after the war, and in 1962 he returned, this time to Salzburg, to marry his fiancée, Marcia, whom he had met at college.
From 1959 Morton worked for several American periodicals, mainly as a columnist (The New York Times, Esquire, and Playboy).