Bing’s mother could not pay his tuition fees at Southwest Texas State Teachers College; therefore he worked diligently at Southwest Texas State Teachers College in order to fund himself. By 1935 he earned himself a Bachelor of Science degree.
Henri Bing’s initial drawings for Jugend and Simplicissimus were heavily influenced by those of his elder colleagues; however, soon he found his own style and themes; these included depicting outcasts and underdogs such as tramps, beggars and factory workers.
Early Life and Education
Henry Bing was born in Spokane, Washington in 1906 and attended Webster Grade School and North Central High School before matriculating at Spokane College. Due to his passion for mathematics he eventually joined the American Mathematical Society, where he served both on its council and as colloquium lecturer.
In New York, he met photographer Alfred Stieglitz, one of the foremost figures in photography and an advocate of modern art. Inspired by Stieglitz’s style, his early photographs such as Cropped dark Outline of a Carriage in Central Park (“Carriage”) display an interest in architecture and geometry; similarly hyper-sharp carpenter’s Workshop still lifes such as Hammer Pliers and Nails (“Hammer, Pliers and Nails”). These early pictures reveal an aesthetic which would become prominent elements in later work.
Bing was unable to afford his tuition at Southwest Texas State Teachers College, so he took a job working in the college cafeteria to save enough money and complete his degree in mathematics.
Bing began her photography career while still in graduate school and quickly established a client roster for commercial clients. Over time she developed her signature style that combined elements from photojournalism, architectural/theatrical photography, advertising campaigns, fashion photography and advertising photography.
In 1905 he relocated to Munich where he established a regular presence at Cafe Stefanie in the famed bohemian quarter and socialized with renowned artistic personalities of his day. He sold his works through leading Munich art dealers while also enjoying royalties on publication of his drawings in Jugend and Simplicissimus magazines.
Achievement and Honors
Bing was a strong character who preferred making decisions on his own and understanding things for himself rather than depending on others; for instance, he never claimed understanding a theorem unless he actually knew it himself.
President Franklin D Roosevelt holds his inaugural radio “fireside chats”. Bing Crosby’s song, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime”, becomes Number 1.
Bing was an accomplished mathematician specializing in geometric topology. He published articles addressing various aspects of 3-manifold theory including decompositions, maps, approximating surfaces, recognizing tameness and triangulation as well as planar sets and ruled surfaces. His work was considered revolutionary and introduced a new style of topological thinking. Bing served as Chairperson of Friends of Arts NC State Board of Advisors as well as Member of Gregg Museum Foundation Board.
Even during his most prominent musical moments, Bing remained an extremely private person who spent his free time on his golf course or at the race track. Additionally, he was known to support many worthy causes with donations of time, talent, money and services.
During World War II, he became an influential national force: touring both at home and abroad, recording V-Discs at record speeds, selling record war bonds volumes, answering thousands of letters from servicemen and their families directly, appearing in Road movies and regularly drawing in 50 million listeners for his radio program.
Bing returned to the University of Wisconsin as both professor and chairman of its mathematics department, serving as constitutional adviser to Kwame Nkrumah during Ghana’s transition from colonial rule. Additionally, Reap the Whirlwind: An Account of Ghana 1950-66 was published.
He inherited an estimated $600 million fortune from his grandfather and used it to launch Shangri-La Entertainment and create memorable films such as Kangaroo Jack port (2003) and Get Carter (2000).
He invested vast sums of money in the entertainment industry and is estimated to possess an estimated net worth of $55 Million as of 2022.
Bing became embroiled in two paternity cases: Elizabeth Hurley had claimed that Bing fathered her son Damian; Kira Kerkorian (daughter of casino mogul Kirk Kerkorian) challenged this claim and in response Bing sued to prevent any share in Kirk Kerkorian’s estate going to Kirk Kerkorian’s children, in this latter case Kira. Bing died shortly thereafter leaving behind his wife and two children.