He was a secondary school teacher and later a professor of English in Education at the Institute of Education.
Harold was born in Brockton, Massachusetts to Jewish parents on June 25 1919. At the age of two, he came to the East End of London with his mother and siblings. His mother returned to her parents’ house just behind the Royal London Hospital. She was an active Communist, joining the British Party as soon as she arrived back, having left the US after her marriage failed. Harold’s father was a union organiser in America for the boot and shoe workers.