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Fun facts about George Orwell on his birthday

Where Big Brother Began
Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images

When Big Brother premieres tonight on CBS viewers may want to take a moment to remember birthday boy George Orwell who authored the novel 1984 and created the character of Big Brother in the first place.

Mr. Orwell was a political journalist who, in spite of having an upper middle class upbringing, was an advocate for socialism and often wrote about London's downtrodden.

In addition to 1984 he penned the novella Animal Farm which used a farm animal revolution as metaphor for the danger of socialism turning into communism.

1984 introduced many a familiar phrase into our vocabulary, including double-think (bad is good, freedom is oppression) and the though-police (an organization that can punish citizens who have rebellious thoughts.)

The Portland Authors Examiner would like to share a few facts you may not have known about the creator of the original Big Brother.

He was born in British India and his real name is Eric Arthur Blair.

His father worked for the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service.

When he attended Eton his French teacher was Aldous Huxley who penned Brave New World about a futurist material obsessed and drug addled society.

Against the advice of writer Henry Miller, he fought in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Republicans where he was wounded in battle.

There is a Placa De George Orwell in Barcelona.

He got his pen name from The River Orwell in Suffolk.

1884 and Animal Farm are two of the most banned books in history. Ironically, his wife Eileen worked at The Censorship Department in London during World War II.

So tonight, when viewers turn on their telescreen to watch another summer of whiny, slutty beauties acting badly, they may want to take a moment to remember the man who predicted it all, and make sure that no one on that telescreen is looking back.

(These facts were procured from Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, Random House and Google Maps.)