Lionel Rusty Bernstein

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Biographical information

Lionel (Rusty) Bernstein


Writer, Political Activist, Architect, SACP and MK member, banned person, politcal prisoner, exile,  recipient of The Order of Luthuli in Gold.

First name: 
Last name: 
Date of birth: 
Location of birth: 
Durban, South Africa
Date of death: 
23 June 2002
Location of death: 
Kidlington, Oxfordshire, England

Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein was born on 3 March 1920 in Durban, Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) of European Jewish immigrants. He was the youngest of four children. Orphaned at eight years, he was brought up by relatives. He was educated at Hilton College in Natal. After matriculating, he returned to Johannesburg where he started work at an architect’s office, while studying architecture part-time at the University of the Witwatersrand. After qualifying in 1936, he worked full-time as an architect from 1937 to 1941.

• Anon, Lionel (Rusty) Bernstein  from South African History Online, [online] Available at [Accessed on 27 May 2011]
• Anon, (2011), Presentation Of National Orders, Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein, from The Presidency, [online] Available at  [Accessed 25 May 2011]
• Anon, Lionel "Rusty" Bernstein Profile, [online] Available at [Accessed on 27 May 2011]

Last updated : 27-Jul-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 17-Feb-2011