Richard Schwartz

Richard Schwartz is the author of The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty, The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M. B. Curtis.

Ground-breaking actor M. B. Curtis cut his teeth in the San Francisco wild theater scene in the 1870s. In 1880 he turned an idea for a play he developed for the Bohemian Club into a record-shattering play and was the first Jewish actor to be allowed to play a Jewish character onstage. He was a pioneer in the silent movies, a hotelier, a developer and accused of murdering a San Francisco police officer. Curtis is the only citizen to personally pay to light the Statue of Liberty when Congress refused to do so right after its dedication. Even Teddy Roosevelt was compared to his theatrical character, and Mark Twain requested Curtis produce a play of one of Twain’s books.

Richard is also the author of Berkeley 1900, Daily Life at the Turn of the Century; Earthquake Exodus 1906, Berkeley Responds to the San Francisco Refugees; Eccentrics, Heroes and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley; and The Circle of Stones, An Investigation of the Circle of Stones of Stampede Valley, Sierra County, California.

Richard Schwartz was born and raised in Philadelphia. He was the undefeated Pennsylvania State fencing champion in 1968 and worked on a Pennsylvania Dutch farm for two years while at Temple University. He is the author of five history books and a California building contractor. Most important, though, he is an animal lover and hiker.