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Arthur Levine, BSI

Arthur L. Levine (The Cutter Alicia, 1955) had seen Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes movies as a child. But at the age of 14, he discovered Vincent Starrett’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes and Ellery Queen’s The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes.  In The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, he discovered The Baker Street Irregulars and wrote to Christopher Morley asking how to get involved.  That led to a life of Sherlockian study, activity, and camaraderie.

Art was born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 23, 1929. He received his BA from Case Western Reserve and his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. He worked for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in Cleveland, the agency that in 1958 became NASA. One of his tasks was recruiting astronauts, and he hired Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. In 1961, he and his family relocated to New York, where he became the first administrative head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He recruited the physicists whose job it was to get man to the moon. After his successful career in NASA, he left to become a full professor of Public Administration at Baruch College of the City University of New York. Having attended his first BSI Dinner in the early 1950s, he was, for many years, the BSI member with the longest institutional memory.  Art passed away in 2015.

In this interview, Art recounted the past under Michael Whelan’s expert questioning, sharing wonderful memories about Edgar Smith, Rex Stout, and many others.

Click to play this interview

Interviewee: Arthur Levine
Interviewer: Michael Whelan
Date: January 12, 2007
Location: New York City
Description: MP3, 47.4 MB, 104kbps, 1 hour
Transcript of Arthur Levine Interview (PDF)

Interview Topics

Biographical Information
Discovery of The BSI
Clifton R. Andrew
Attending the Scandalous Bohemians
Attending His First BSI Dinner
Rex Stout
Fletcher Pratt
Edgar Smith
BSI Reaction to Edgar Smith’s Passing
Julian Wolff
Memories of Other BSI
Allen Robertson with a Harpoon in his Chest
A Memorable Dispute
Silver Blaze Races
Isaac Asimov
Publications in the Baker Street Journal
Sherlockian Travels
What The BSI Has Meant to Him

Explanation of BSI Honours & Other Terms

Related Materials 

Arthur Levine  received his Investiture at this BSI Dinner.

Levine, Arthur L., “A Man of ‘Formidable Resourcefulness’ - An Essay in the Manner of a Footnote to History,” Baker Street Journal v4 n3 (July 1954) 169-173 (available in the eBSJ).

Levine, Arthur L., “Lowenstein’s Other Creeper,” Baker Street Journal v6 n1 (January 1956) 30-34 (available in the eBSJ).

Levine, Arthur L., “The Books Are In Need Of An Audit,” Baker Street Journal v8 n1 (January 1958) 36-40 (available in the eBSJ).

For an index to all OHP interviews, see our Oral History Project Summary list.

Interviews recently added online (sorted by when recording was posted online)

Material in the BSI Archive may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive page.

Page composed on 8/14/16 by Andrew Solberg.
Page updated 10/15/16 by Andrew Solberg.
This page last updated 6/16/21 by Randall Stock.