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Encyclopedia > Birdman of Alcatraz
Stroud's Mugshot

Robert James Stroud (January 28, 1890November 21, 1963), known as the Birdman of Alcatraz, was a prisoner in Alcatraz who supposedly found solace from segregation in raising and selling birds. Despite his nickname, he never kept birds in Alcatraz, running his business until transferred to Alcatraz from Leavenworth. Image File history File links RobertStroud. ... Image File history File links RobertStroud. ... January 28 is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... November 21 is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Alcatraz Island is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California. ... For other meanings of bird, see bird (disambiguation). ... The United States Penitentiary (USP), Leavenworth is located in Leavenworth, Kansas on 1,583 acres (6. ...

Contents

Early life

Stroud was born in Seattle, Washington, to Elizabeth and Ben Stroud. He was the couple's first child, although Elizabeth had two daughters from a previous marriage. Stroud left home at a young age and, by 1908, was in the frontier town of Cordova, Alaska. There, he met and began a relationship with 36-year old Kitty O'Brien, a dance-hall entertainer and prostitute. In November, they moved to Juneau. Nickname: Location of Seattle in King County and Washington Coordinates: Country United States State Washington County King County Incorporated December 2 1869 Government  - Type Mayor-council  - Mayor Greg Nickels (NP) Area  - City  142. ... Cordova is a small city located near the mouth of the Copper River in Alaska, at the head of Orca Inlet on the east side of Prince William Sound. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... Juneau redirects here. ...


Arrest, trial and imprisonment

According to Stroud, on January 18, 1909, while he was away at work, an acquaintance of theirs, F. K. "Charlie" Von Dahmer, raped and viciously beat Kitty. On his return, Stroud confronted Von Dahmer and a struggle ensued, resulting in the latter's death from a gunshot wound. However, according to police reports from the time, Kitty had continued to engage in prostitution after arriving in Juneau, with Stroud acting as her pimp. The reports stated that Stroud had knocked Von Dahmer unconscious and then shot him at point blank range. January 18 is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... F.K. Von Dahmer (died January 18, 1909) was the first victim of Robert Stroud. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Stroud was later arrested with Von Dahmer's wallet in his possession. Although Stroud's mother Elizabeth retained a lawyer for her son, on August 23, 1909, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12 years in the federal penitentiary on Puget Sound's McNeil Island. (Stroud's crime was handled in the federal system as Alaska was not yet a state with its own judiciary.) August 23 is the 235th day of the year (236th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1909 (MCMIX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A prison is a place in which people are confined and deprived of a range of liberties. ... Puget Sound For the liberal arts university located in this region, see University of Puget Sound. ... McNeil Island is an island in Puget Sound, located just west of Steilacoom, Washington at 47°1242 North, 122°4114 West3. ...


Prison life

While at McNeil Island, Stroud assaulted a hospital orderly who had reported him to the administration for attempting to obtain morphine through threats and intimidation and also reportedly stabbed a fellow inmate who was involved in the attempt to smuggle the narcotics. Morphine (INN) (IPA: ) is a highly potent opiate analgesic drug and is the principal active agent in opium and the prototypical opiate. ...


On September 5, 1912, Stroud was sentenced to an additional six months for the attacks and transferred from McNeil Island to the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. While at Leavenworth, Stroud was reprimanded by a guard in the cafeteria for a minor rule violation. Although the violation was not a serious one, it could have annulled Stroud's visitation privilege to meet his younger brother, whom he had not seen in eight years. Stroud stabbed and killed the guard, Andrew Turner, on March 26, 1916. He was sentenced to execution by hanging on May 27 and was ordered to await his death sentence in solitary confinement. The trial was later invalidated. In a later trial he was given a life sentence. That trial was also invalidated, after reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered a new trial, set for May 1918. On June 28, he was again sentenced to death by hanging. The Supreme Court intervened, but only to uphold the death sentence, which was scheduled to be carried out on April 23, 1920. September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Leavenworth redirects here. ... One of a number of cafeterias at Electronic City campus, Infosys Technologies Ltd. ... Andrew Turner (1886 or 1887 - March 26, 1916) was head of security in Fort Leavenworth prison and was also a prison guard. ... March 26 is the 85th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (86th in leap years). ... 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... Hanging is the suspension of a person by a ligature, usually a cord wrapped around the neck, causing death. ... Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, often called a capital offense or a capital crime. ... Solitary confinement, colloquially referred to as the hole (or in British English the block), is a punishment in which a prisoner is denied contact with any other persons, excluding guards, chaplains and doctors. ... Life imprisonment is a term used for a particular kind of sentence of imprisonment. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... April 23 is the 113th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (114th in leap years). ... 1920 (MCMXX) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...


At this point Stroud's mother appealed to President Woodrow Wilson and his wife, Edith Bolling Wilson, who halted the execution. Stroud's sentence was again commuted to life imprisonment. Leavenworth’s warden, T. W. Morgan, did not approve of the decision, and ordered that Stroud was to be held in segregation for the complete duration of his imprisonment. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924), was the 28th President of the United States. ... White House portrait Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (October 15, 1872–December 28, 1961), second wife of Woodrow Wilson, was First Lady of the United States from 1915 to 1921. ... A pardon is the forgiveness of a crime and the penalty associated with it. ... ...


Birdman

While at Leavenworth, Stroud found three injured sparrows in the prison yard and kept them. He started to occupy his time raising and caring for his birds, soon switching from sparrows to canaries, which he could sell for supplies and to help support his mother. Soon thereafter, Leavenworth’s administration changed and the prison was now directed by a new warden. Impressed with the possibility of presenting Leavenworth as a progressive rehabilitation penitentiary, the new warden furnished Stroud with cages, chemicals, and stationery to conduct his ornithological activities. Visitors were shown Stroud's aviary and many purchased his canaries. Over the years, he raised nearly 300 canaries in his cells and wrote two books, Diseases of Canaries and Stroud's Digest on the Diseases of Birds. He made several important contributions to avian pathology, most notably a cure for the hemorrhagic septicemia family of diseases. He gained respect and also some level of sympathy in the bird-loving field. Genera Passer Petronia Carpospiza Montifringilla The true sparrows, the Old World sparrows in the family Passeridae, are small passerine birds. ... Binomial name Serinus canaria (Linnaeus, 1758) The Canary (Serinus canaria) sometimes called the Island Canary, Wild Canary or Atlantic Canary, is a small bird in the finch family. ... This theory of punishment is based on the notion that punishment is to be inflicted on a offender so as to reform him, or rehabilitate him so as to make his re-integration into society easier. ... A chemical substance is any material substance used in or obtained by a process in chemistry: A chemical compound is a substance consisting of two or more chemical elements that are chemically combined in fixed proportions. ... Binomial name Serinus canaria (Linnaeus, 1758) The Canary (Serinus canaria) sometimes called the Island Canary, Wild Canary or Atlantic Canary, is a small bird in the finch family. ... The word Avian can refer to different things: .. Most commonly it is used referring to the class of animals named birds. Avians are a fantasy race in several fantasy settings. ... Pathology (from Greek pathos, feeling, pain, suffering; and logos, study of; see also -ology) is the study of the processes underlying disease and other forms of illness, harmful abnormality, or dysfunction. ... Sepsis (in Greek Σήψις) is a serious medical condition caused by a severe systemic infection leading to a systemic inflammatory response. ...


Soon, Stroud’s activities created problems for the prison management. According to regulations, each letter sent or received at the prison had to be read, copied and approved. He was so involved in his business that this alone required a full-time prison secretary. Also, most of the time, his birds were let free to fly in his cells. With the very high number of birds he kept, his cell was dirty and Stroud’s personal hygiene was reported to be gruesome. In 1931, an attempt to force Stroud to discontinue his business and get rid of his birds failed after Stroud and his future wife, Della Mae Jones, made his story known to newspapers and magazines and undertook a massive letter- and petition-writing campaign that climaxed in a 50,000-signature petition being mailed to the president. The resultant public outcry allowed Stroud to keep his birds and he was even given a second cell to house them, but his letter-writing privileges were greatly curtailed. A secretary is either an administrative assistant in business office administration, or a certain type of mid- or high-level governmental position, such as a Secretary of State. ... Hygiene refers to practices associated with ensuring good health and cleanliness. ...

Stroud's Cell at Alcatraz
Stroud's Cell at Alcatraz

In 1933, however, Stroud took out an advertisement to publicise the fact that he had not received any royalties from the sales of Diseases of Canaries. In retaliation, the publisher complained to the warden and, as a result, proceedings were initiated to transfer Stroud to Alcatraz, where he would not be permitted to keep his birds. Stroud, however, discovered a legal loophole, according to which, he would be allowed to remain in Kansas if he were married there. He therefore married Della Jones in 1933, though he infuriated not only prison officials, who would not allow him to correspond with his wife, but also his mother, who refused any contact with him until her death four years later, in 1937. However, Stroud was able to keep his birds and his canary-selling business until it was discovered, several years later, that some of the equipment Stroud had requested for his lab was in fact being used to create alcohol with a home-made still.[1] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Alcatraz Island is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... The term still is a contraction of the verb to distill. A still is an apparatus used to distill miscible or immiscible (eg. ...

Alcatraz

Stroud was transferred to Alcatraz on December 19, 1942. While there, he wrote two manuscripts: Bobbye, an autobiography and Looking Outward: A History of the U.S. Prison System from Colonial Times to the Formation of the Bureau of Prisons. The judge ruled that Stroud had the right to write and keep such manuscripts but upheld the warden’s decision of banning publication. December 19 is the 353rd day of the year (354th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1942 calendar). ... A manuscript (Latin manu scriptus, written by hand), strictly speaking, is any written document that is put down by hand, in contrast to being printed or reproduced some other way. ... To publish is to make publicly known, and in reference to text and images, it can mean distributing paper copies to the public, or putting the content on a website. ...


Stroud spent six years in segregation and another eleven years confined to the hospital wing. He was allowed access to the prison library and began studying law. With his newfound knowledge, Stroud began petitioning the government that his long prison term amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. In 1959, with his health failing, Stroud was transferred to the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. However, his attempts to be released on the grounds that his extremely long sentence was cruel and unusual punishment were unsuccessful. On November 21, 1963, Robert Franklin Stroud died at the Springfield Center at the age of 73, after 54 years of incarceration, of which 42 were in segregation. He had been studying French near the end of his life. Springfield is the third largest city in Missouri. ... November 21 is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Robert Stroud is buried in Metropolis, Illinois (Massac County). [2]


Family & Relationships

Initially, Stroud had a close relationship with his mother. She helped him with legal proceedings on many occasions, even managing to elicit sympathy from the president over her son's death sentence. Stroud kept busy with his bird enterprise and had numerous bird-loving pen-pals. He started a regular correspondence with a woman named Della Mae Jones, a bird researcher, resulting in her move to Kansas in 1931 and starting a business with Stroud, selling his medicines. Stroud's mother strongly disapproved of the relationship and moved away from the Leavenworth area. She also argued against her son's application for parole, which became a major obstacle in his attempts to be released from the prison system. Pen pals (or penpals or pen friends) are people who regularly write to each other, particularly via postal mail. ... Strouds Mugshot Robert James Stroud (January 28, 1890 – November 21, 1963), known as the Birdman of Alcatraz, was a prisoner in Alcatraz who supposedly found solace from segregation in raising and selling birds. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ...


The book and film

See Birdman of Alcatraz (film).

Stroud became the subject of a 1955 book by Thomas E. Gaddis, Birdman of Alcatraz , which was adapted in 1962 into a film. Birdman of Alcatraz is a 1962 film starring Burt Lancaster and directed by John Frankenheimer. ... Thomas E. Gaddis (1908–1984) was a United States author, most noted for his book Birdman of Alcatraz. ...


The film, directed by John Frankenheimer, starred Burt Lancaster (as Stroud), Karl Malden (as the fictionalized and renamed warden), Thelma Ritter (as Stroud's mother), Neville Brand (as a prison guard), Betty Field (as the renamed representation of Della Mae Jones), Telly Savalas (as another prisoner), Hugh Marlowe, Whit Bissell, Crahan Denton and James Westerfield. In a brief unbilled role, actress Adrienne Marden played First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson, as she intervened to save Stroud from execution. Gaddis was portrayed by Edmond O'Brien, who also narrated the film. John Michael Frankenheimer (February 19, 1930 – July 6, 2002) was an American film director. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Karl Malden portraying Gen. ... Ṝ Thelma Ritter (February 14, 1902 – February 5, 1969) was a six time Academy Award-nominated American character actress of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. ... Brand in D.O.A. (1950) Neville Brand (August 13, 1920 – April 16, 1992), was an American television and movie actor. ... Actress Betty Field (1947) photo taken by Carl Van Vechten Betty Field (February 8, 1913 - September 13, 1973) was an American film and stage actress. ... Telly Savalas (January 21, 1922 – January 22, 1994) was an Emmy Award-winning American film and television actor whose career spanned four decades. ... Marlowe in Night and the City (1950) Hugh Marlowe was a film, television, stage and radio actor. ... Whit Bissell (born 29 October 1909, died 5 March 1996) was an American character actor. ... James Westerfield (born March 22, 1913 in Nashville, Tennessee; died 20 September 1971 in Woodland Hills, California) was an American actor who starred in more than 50 films during his lifetime. ... This article is about the use of the term first lady internationally. ... White House portrait Edith Bolling Galt Wilson (October 15, 1872–December 28, 1961), second wife of Woodrow Wilson, was First Lady of the United States from 1915 to 1921. ... Edmond OBrien (September 10, 1915–May 9, 1985) was an American film actor who is perhaps best remembered for his role in D.O.A.. Born in New York, New York, OBrien made his film debut in 1938, and gradually built a career as a highly regarded supporting...


The film was adapted by Guy Trosper from Gaddis' book. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Burt Lancaster), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Telly Savalas), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Thelma Ritter) and Best Cinematography, Black-and-White. Stroud was never allowed to see the film. Guy Trosper (1911 - 1963) was an American screenwriter. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... The Academy Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given to actors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is one of the awards given to male actors working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... // The Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the awards given to actresses working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is awarded each year to a cinematographer for his work in one particular motion picture. ...


Petitions were being signed in theater lobbies in favor of Stroud’s release or parole.[citation needed] Look up Petition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Truth versus fiction

According to those who knew Stroud while he was in prison, the mild-mannered characterization of him, as presented in Gaddis's book and the subsequent film was largely fiction. Some have challenged the claim that Stroud's transfer to Alcatraz was due to some of the equipment he requested being used to make alcoholic beverages (which was depicted in the film though not shown as the reason for his transfer).


External links

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about movies, actors, television shows, production crew personnel, and video games. ...

References

  1. ^ "The Birdman of Alcatraz: A Brief Narrative on Robert Stroud AZ #594", AlcatrazHistory.com. Retrieved on 2007-03-11. 
  2. ^ "Robert Stroud", Find A Grave, 2001-01-01. Retrieved on 2007-02-12. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
Birdman of Alcatraz - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1512 words)
Robert Franklin Stroud (January 28, 1890–November 21, 1963), known as the Birdman of Alcatraz, was a prisoner in Alcatraz who supposedly found solace from segregation in raising and selling birds.
Stroud was born in Seattle, Washington, on January 28, 1890, to Elizabeth and Ben Stroud.
In retaliation, the publisher complained to the warden, and as a result, proceedings began to transfer Stroud to Alcatraz, where he would not be permitted to keep his birds.
Alcatraz Island - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1080 words)
Alcatraz Island (37°49′35″N, 122°25′21″W) is located in the middle of San Francisco Bay in California.
It is home to the now abandoned prison, the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools, a seabird,(mostly gulls, gannetts and pelicans) colony, and unique views of the coastline.
Alcatraz was a military installation established in 1850, later becoming a military prison, until 1933.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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