(JTA) – The Jewish manager of The Beatles, who led the group to worldwide fame and success, will be commemorated with a statue in Liverpool, according to the BBC.
Brian Epstein, born on Yom Kippur to a family of Russian and Lithuanian Jewish descent, first discovered the Beatles in 1961 at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. He became the band’s manager in 1962, overseeing the band’s transformation from a scruffy local band to global costume sensation that would star on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1963.
Epstein lived his life as both a locked-in homosexual and a Jew, two identities that made life particularly difficult in 1960s England. Members of the Beatles often joked with Epstein about his sexual orientation, according to a memoir written by Ivor Davis, a Jewish journalist who covered the group’s US tour in 1964.
Once, according to Davis, Lennon joked that Epstein should name his memoir “Queer Jew.”
A spokeswoman for the Brian Epstein Legacy Project, the group behind the statue, told the BBC it would be the first statue in Liverpool to commemorate an LGBT person.
“Although her sexuality was not known to the public until after her death, she was well known to her friends and business associates. [and he] facing many personal challenges, âthe spokeswoman told the BBC.
She added: âEpstein was only 32 when he died and didn’t live to see the changes that could have impacted his freedom to publicly express his sexuality. [as] the laws were changed a month after his death.
Epstein died of a drug overdose in 1967 at the age of 32. The Beatles attended a memorial service in honor of Epstein at the New London Synagogue.