Boris Nikolai Mandrovsky was born in Moscow in 1916 on the eve of the Revolution. After making a last minute escape on a tramp steamer with his mother, he "squandered his early childhood amid the bazaars and minarets of Constantinople and the vineyard-covered hills of Yugoslavia." His photographic memory and ability to absorb totally all languages he heard during this period were to place him in good stead.
He came to the United States at seven, and grew up in Connecticut and later attended Trinity School in New York. After receiving a B.S. degree in Biology, he spent five adventure-packed years in the Army, winding up in 1945 as an interpreter at the Quadripartite Conference in war-torn Berlin.
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