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Last Pushkin Descendant Dies

October 18, 1997

MOSCOW (AP) _ The last direct descendant of Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s greatest poet, has died at a Moscow veterans’ hospital, the Ministry of Culture announced Saturday.

Grigory Pushkin, the poet’s great-grandson, died late Friday after a long illness, the ITAR-Tass news agency quoted the ministry as saying. He was 83.

Grigory Pushkin, a highly decorated veteran of World War II, became a police officer after the war and later went to work for the Pravda publishing house, where he helped collect his famous ancestor’s work.

Alexander Pushkin is perhaps the most beloved of all Russian literary figures, and nearly every Russian can recite some of his poems by heart. Among his best-known works are the epic poem ``Eugene Onegin″ and a play, ``Boris Godunov.″

Grigory Pushkin organized festivals of Pushkin poetry and toured the country, delivering lectures about the Pushkin family.

In his will, Alexander Pushkin barred his descendents from writing verse, but on a recent birthday Grigory recited the one poem he had written during his life.

According to ITAR-Tass, Grigory Pushkin dreamed of living to see the celebrations of his great-grandfather’s 200th birthday, in 1999.

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