Today's Article - Lionel Logue

This article is for quizzes on Monday January 11th...

Lionel George Logue, CVO (26 February 1880 – 12 April 1953) was an Australian speech and language therapist and amateur stage actor who successfully treated, among others, King George VI, who had a pronounced stammer.
Before he ascended the throne, Prince Albert, Duke of York, dreaded public speaking because he suffered from a severe stammer. His closing speech at the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley on 31 October 1925 proved an ordeal for speaker and listeners alike. The experience left the Duke resolved to find a way to manage his stammer, so he engaged Logue in 1926. John 'Jock' Murray VI was successfully treated for a stammer by Mr Logue, and it was through a connection to a friend, Lord Stamfordham, that Logue was introduced to the Duke of York.

Diagnosing poor co-ordination between the Duke's larynx and thoracic diaphragm, Logue prescribed a daily hour of vocal exercises. Logue's treatment gave the Duke the confidence to relax and avoid tension-induced muscle spasms. As a result, he suffered only the occasional hesitancy in speech. By 1927, he was speaking confidently and managed his address at the opening of the Old Parliament House in Canberra without stammering.

Logue worked with the Duke through the 1930s and 40s. He used tongue-twisters to help his patient rehearse for major speeches, his coronation, and his radio broadcasts to the British Empire throughout the Second World War. The two men remained friends until the King's death.

Logue's grandson, Mark, wrote a book with Peter Conradi about his grandfather's relationship with the Duke of York, who later became King George VI, entitled The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy. The short title was used for the 2010 British film The King's Speech, a historical drama written by David Seidler, in which Logue was played by Geoffrey Rush and his patient by Colin Firth. In February 2011, The King's Speech won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Colin Firth.


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