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Travis, Maury Marion (1905-1990) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Travis, Maury Marion (1905-1990)
Variant Name: Moses Marion Kornfeld


Historical Note:

Maury Marion Travis was born Moses Marion Kornfeld in West Virginia in 1905 to a large Orthodox Jewish family. He attended school in Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated high school in 1922. He received a BA and Graduate Degree in Geology from Stanford University and entered the professional field of Petroleum Geology. Travis also served in the USAAF in the Corps of Engineers from 1929 to 1943.

He legally changed his name to Maury Marion Travis October 29, 1946 as a final severance of his Jewish roots due mostly to his objections to Zionism and the founding of the State of Israel, which he felt would precipitate "bloody wars."  He had at one time been a member of Lessing Rosenwald's American Jewish Council for Judaism, strongly opposing the formation of the Jewish State in Palestine.

Travis converted to Christianity and was baptized June 22, 1952 at Abraham Lincoln's New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, but continued to support the Jewish Anti-Defamation League his entire life. Travis was a resident of San Diego from the late 1970s until his death in late 1989 or early 1990.

Note Author: Bonnie Harris





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