Brian Samuel Epstein|
(September 19, 1934 - August 27, 1967) U.K.
Born in Liverpool, after being conscripted into the Army in 1952, Epstein cruised London bars dressed in a tailor-made officer's uniform (he had not earned the rank), and eventually was arrested for impersonating an officer. To avoid a court martial, Epstein agreed to see an army psychiatrist, who learned of his patient's homosexuality, which resulted in Epstein's discharge on medical grounds.
Eventually returning home, Epstein helped build his family's music store into one of the biggest record retail outlets in England. In November 1961, he first saw The Beatles, and it was his conviction that the band was destined for worldwide fame that, despite rejections from virtually all the major labels, finally convinced EMI's George Martin to sign the group.
Epstein discovered the group while working as the manager of the record department in his father's Liverpool furniture store; he cleaned them up, fired Pete Best and hired Ringo Starr as drummer, and negotiated their first contract with a major record company.
"They were rather scruffily dressed," Brian Epstein recalled of his first impression of The Beatles, "in the nicest possible way, or I should say in the most attractive way: black leather jackets, jeans, long hair of course."
From the beginning, the band members knew that Epstein was gay, but they did not care. There were rumours of a brief sexual encounter between the two when they went on a four-day holiday together to Spain in April 1963.
While many claim that Epstein and John Lennon really had a sexual relationship, Lennon (known for his unflinching candor) denied the rumors, explaining in 1980 that "it was almost a love affair, but not quite. It was never consummated... but we did have a pretty intense relationship."
he told Playboy in 1980.
He was also the manager of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and Cilla Black. Epstein died of an accidental prescription drug overdose. At the statutory inquest, his death was officially ruled accidental, and was deemed to probably have been caused by a gradual buildup of barbiturates (Carbitral and/or Seconal) in his system, possibly mixed with alcohol; he was thirty-two..
Epstein's private diaries - detailing his tormented childhood, as well as his later struggle to come to terms with his homosexuality - surfaced in 1997, 30 years after he committed suicide. Epstein had reportedly kept the diaries for safekeeping with his chauffeur, Bryan Barrett, shortly before his death. In the spring of 2000, the diaries came up at auction at Christie's of London, with a final bid of $11,500, the diaries failed to reach their reserve and were withdrawn. The Brian Epstein diaries have been officially owned by actor Jude Law for several years now.