Born in Brooklyn, New York, of Irish parents, John Freely (1926–2017) was brought up in New York City and Inch on the Dingle Peninsula in the west of Ireland. A lifelong traveller, he had crossed the Atlantic four times by the time he was six. He enlisted in the US Navy at seventeen in 1944, serving on missions in Burma, India and China, and married Dolores (“Toots”) Stanley after being demobbed in 1947. He received a doctorate in nuclear physics from New York University and did post-doctoral work at All Souls College, Oxford. He moved to Istanbul with his family to take up a teaching post at the American Robert College in 1960 and remained there for most of the rest of his life. Physicist, teacher, and author of more than sixty books of travel, history and science, most famously the seminal guidebook 'Strolling Through Istanbul' (1972), he was a noted raconteur as well as writer, with a prodigious memory for poetry and song as well as facts and dates. He continued writing to the very end of his life: among his last books are three volumes of memoirs, 'The Art of Exile: A Vagabond Life' (2016), 'The House of Memory: Reflections on Youth and War' (2017), and the newly published 'Stamboul Ghosts' (2018).
BOOKS BY THIS CONTRIBUTOR
Stamboul Ghosts: A Stroll Through Bohemian Istanbul
Colourful, cosmopolitan, hard-drinking, often outrageous characters throng this rollicking memoir by the late John Freely, who moved with his family to Istanbul in 1960 and changed travel writing for good with his 1972 guide, Strolling Through Istanbul. Dozens of books on travel, history and science would follow. READ MORE