Lionel Blue, British rabbi, journalist and broadcaster, Died at 86

  Media, Writer

Lionel Blue was born on February 6, 1930, in the East End of London, and died on December 19, 2016.

He was a British Reform rabbi, journalist and broadcaster.

Blue was the first British rabbi publicly to declare his homosexuality.

Blue was best known for his longstanding work with the media, most notably his wry and gentle sense of humour on Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

During 1998, Blue was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University.

Blue was also an honorary doctor of Divinity and Fellow of Grey College, Durham and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

His father was a master tailor.

Blue was ordained as a rabbi in 1960.

He was the first British rabbi publicly to affirm his homosexual orientation and published Godly and Gay in 1981.

Blue was openly homosexual since the 1960s and has had three male live-in partners.

He was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 57; but, Blue successfully controlled the disorder with medication.

While in an operation in 1997, a surgeon discovered a tumour which was tested and proved to be malignant.

Blue received radiotherapy and hormonal treatment to reduce any further growth.

Then, he was also diagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease.

Lionel Blue passed away at 86 years old.