Mrs. Jacques Samossoud Dies; Mark Twain's Last Living Child
SAN DIEGO, Calif., Nov. 20 (UPI) - Mrs. Clara Langhorne Clemens Samossoud, the last living child of Mark Twain, died last night in Sharp Memorial Hospital. She was 88 years old.
Mrs. Samossoud, who suffered from a heart ailment and had been bedridden for several years, entered the hospital Nov. 16. She lived at the Bahia Motor Hotel here with her husband, Jacques Alexander Samossoud, a retired symphony conductor.
In recent years, she worked on her memoirs, which were prepared for publication after her death.
One of her most cherished possessions was a 24-volume set of the complete works of her father, whose real name was Samuel Clemens. The first volume of "The Collected Works of Mark Twain" is inscribed "to Clara Langhorne Clemens, with the love of her father, the author - Nov. 27, 1904."
The flyleaf of each volume carries an original inscription penned by Mark Twain. The author chose "Innocents Abroad" for the first inscription. It reads: "Be good and you will be lonesome - like me." Each inscription is signed with a flourish.
Mrs. Samossoud was one of three daughters in the Clemens household. She was born in Elmira, N. Y., in the home where her father wrote "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn."
Released 'Letters From Earth'
Last August, Mrs. Samossoud released for publication a series of highly inflammatory antireligious essays written by her father. They had been withheld by her since 1939, when they were edited by the late Bernard DeVoto.
She said she had finally agreed to release them because "Mark Twain belonged to the world" and public opinion had become more tolerant. The essays were collected in a volume entitled "Letters From the Earth."
Mrs. Samossoud had previously been married to Ossip Gabrilowitsch, the late pianist and conductor. Their daughter, Nina Gabrilowitsch, survives.
As a young woman, Mrs. Samossoud had sung on the concert stage and had played the title role in her father's "Joan of Arc." She was the author of biographies of both her father and Mr. Gabrilowitsch. In another book, "Awake to a Perfect Day," she related her experience with Christian Science.
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