Style icon’s new role as patron for Anne Frank Trust
�The hairdresser, 1960s style icon and anti-fascist fighter Vidal Sassoon has been made a patron of the Anne Frank Trust UK in Camden.
Mr Sassoon, 83, accepted an invitation from the trust to become a patron in recognition of the role he played in opposing fascism and anti-Semitism.
Born to Jewish parents in London, his father Jack Sassoon was a Greek immigrant while his mother Betty was Spanish.
After his father deserted Betty she made the difficult decision to place Mr Sassoon and his younger brother Ivor in the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Orphanage in Lauderdale Road, Maida Vale. Mr Sassoon lived there from the age of five to 12.
He attended Essendine Road Primary School in Maida Vale, before being evacuated to Wiltshire during the Secomd World War.
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On his return to London he left school at the age of 14 and took a hairdresser apprenticeship.
At the age of 17 he joined the 43 Group, a Jewish veterans’ underground organisation. It fought against anti-Semitism after the war ended by breaking up fascist meetings in east London and preventing Sir Oswald Mosley’s far-Right movement from spreading.
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In 1948, at the age of 20, Mr Sassoon joined the Israeli Defence Forces and fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
When his stepfather suffered a heart attack he returned to England to earn money for the family. In 1954 he opened his first hair salon in Bond Street.
Last Monday, Marsha Selwyn and Gillian Walnes MBE made a presentation to Vidal Sassoon CBE on behalf of the trust, in recognition of his many decades of humanitarian work.
Mr Sassoon. who lives in LA, signed the Anne Frank Declaration and agreed to become a patron of the charity, which uses Anne Frank’s life and diary to challenge prejudice and reduce hatred.
Gillian Walnes MBE co-founder of the Trust, said: “We made the presentation to him to thank him for his many decades of humanitarian work.”