An avocation is an activity that someone engages in as a hobby outside their main occupation. There are many examples of people whose professions were the ways that they made their livings, but for whom their activities outside their workplaces were their true passions in life.[1][2] Occasionally, as with Lord Baden-Powell and others, people who pursue an avocation are more remembered by history for their avocation than for their professional career.

Many times a person's regular vocation may lead to an avocation. Many forms of humanitarian campaigning, such as work for organizations like Amnesty International and Greenpeace, may be done by people involved in the law or human rights issues as part of their work.[3]

Many people involved with youth work pursue this as an avocation.[4]

Photograph of First Lady Bess Truman at the White House with a delegation of Girl Scouts, who are presenting her with... - NARA - 200404
American First Lady Bess Truman with Girl Scouts and their volunteer leaders

Avocation in literature

But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For heaven and the future's sakes.

— Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, st. 9

People whose avocations were not their vocations


Person Avocation Vocation
Adams, Frederick luthier physician
Allen, Woody jazz musician filmmaker
Alston, Joseph Cameron badminton player federal agent
Ambros, August Wilhelm musical archaeologist Austrian civil service


Person Avocation Vocation
Baden-Powell, Robert Scouting Military Officer
Balzary, Michael non-profit Management Musician
Barr, William Bagpiper Attorney
Benedetto, Anthony Painter Singer
Bennett, William Clarinetist Physicist
Billroth, Theodor Pianist Surgeon
Blades, Rubén Activist Musician
Blom, Gertrude Social anthropologist Journalist
Borodin, Alexander Composer Chemist
Brontë, Charlotte Author Governess
Butchart, Harvey Grand Canyon Explorer Mathematics Professor


Person Avocation Vocation
Carpenter, Charles naturalist minister
Chekhov, Anton writer, playwright physician
Copeland, Johnny boxer blues guitarist
Copernicus, Nicolaus Astronomer Roman Catholic cleric


Person Avocation Vocation
d'Abo, Olivia singer-songwriter Actress
Darger, Henry Author, Illustrator Custodian
Derleth, August naturalist Novelist
Duncan, Watson Actor Professor


Person Avocation Vocation
Eriugena, Johannes Scotus Theologian Poet


Person Avocation Vocation
Fermat, Pierre de Mathematician Lawyer
Foecke, Tim Whittler, Wooden Toy Maker Metallurgist
Franco, Veronica Poet Courtesan
Ford, Harrison Carpenter Actor
Feynman, Richard[5] Drummer Physicist


Person Avocation Vocation
Getty, J. Paul Art collector Oilman
Goldblum, Jeff jazz musician Actor


Person Avocation Vocation
Hass, Rudolph botany letter carrier
Hewlett, Hilda woodwork, metalwork aviatrice
Hillary, Sir Edmund mountaineer beekeeper
Hohlbaum, Robert writer librarian
Houston, Charles mountaineer physician


Person Avocation Vocation
Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique violinist painter
Ives, Charles composer insurance agent


Person Avocation Vocation
Jacques, Brian author milkman
Jędruch, Jacek historian Nuclear engineer


Person Avocation Vocation
Kaleeba, Noerine activist physiotherapist
Kafka, Franz writer insurance assessor
Kent, Corita Artist, printmaker Roman Catholic Nun
King, Augusta Ada mathematician courtier
Kogan, Richard, M.D. pianist psychiatrist
Krakauer, Jon mountaineer journalist/writer
Kruger, Barbara artist graphic designer


Person Avocation Vocation
Lamarr, Hedy Inventor Actress
Lifton, Robert Jay Cartoonist Psychiatrist
Lluberas, Gerónimo musician physician
Luna, James artist counselor


Person Avocation Vocation
Maier, Vivian Photographer au pair
Means, Gaston Con artist salesman
Morrison, Toni Author editor
Moses, Anna Mary Robertson Painter farmer


Person Avocation Vocation
Norton, Joshua A. Emperor of these United States businessman


Person Avocation Vocation
Obici, Amedeo farmer businessman
Ottendorfer, Anna philanthropist journalist


Person Avocation Vocation
Peszke, Michael Alfred historian psychiatrist
Pekar, Harvey comic book writer file clerk


Person Avocation Vocation
Quirinus of Neuss missionary tribune


Person Avocation Vocation
Radi, Akbar Playwright teacher
Rodriguez, Sixto Folk Musician Demolition worker
Roget, Peter Mark Lexicographer Physician
Rousseau, Henri Painter Tax Collector
Ryan, Jeri Chef actress


Person Avocation Vocation
Saro-Wiwa, Ken Environmental activist Television producer
Shelley, Mary Political activist Author
Smith, Walter Parry Haskett Bouldering lawyer
Stevens, Wallace Poet Insurance executive[6]


Person Avocation Vocation
Thomas, Jean folk festival promoter stenographer
Tov, Baal Shem arbitrator and mediator Rabbi
Tolkien, J. R. R. novelist Philologist


Person Avocation Vocation
Ullman, Tracey knitter and author[7] actress


Person Avocation Vocation
Van Damme, Jean-Claude martial artist actor


Person Avocation Vocation
Weller, Peter Art historian actor
Wells, Ida B. suffragette Journalist
White, Henry fox hunter diplomat
White, Kate author editor-in-chief
Whorf, Benjamin Lee Linguist fire prevention engineer
Williams, William Carlos Poet Pediatrician[6]


Person Avocation Vocation
Xenakis, Iannis composer architect


Person Avocation Vocation
Yada, Lena surfer model, actress


Person Avocation Vocation
Zappa, Frank 20th-century composer Popular music (composer, performer, producer)

Fictional people whose avocations were not their vocations

Batman Cosplayer at DragonCon
Bruce Wayne as his alter ego Batman
Person Avocation Vocation
Kent, Clark / Kal-El Superhero Reporter
Stark, Tony Superhero Industrialist
Wayne, Bruce crime fighter Philanthropist/Industrialist/Heir
Quijano, Alonso Knight-errant Hidalgo
Schrute, Dwight Beet farmer Paper salesman

See also


  1. ^ Travis Saunders. "Avocation-vs-vocation". Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  2. ^ Robert Miller (10 February 2010). "Your avocation may save your life". The News-Times. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  3. ^ Boyd, B (20 October 2006). "A secret history of the old Ball game". Irish Times. Retrieved 2007-07-04.
  4. ^ Craig Giammona. "Avocation in Wood". Bowdoin. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  5. ^ Gleick, James (1992). Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman. Pantheon Books. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-679-40836-9. OCLC 243743850.
  6. ^ a b Neary, Lynn (6 September 2016). "Idea For 'Gentleman in Moscow' Came From Many Nights in Luxury Hotels". National Public Radio (Morning Edition). Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  7. ^ "Tracey Ullman Takes on Knitting". NPR. NPR.org. Retrieved 14 September 2015.

External links

1948 United States presidential election in New York

The 1948 United States presidential election in New York took place on November 2, 1948. All contemporary 48 states were part of the 1948 United States presidential election. New York voters chose 47 electors to the Electoral College, which selected the president and vice president.

New York was won by local Republican Governor Thomas E. Dewey, who was running against incumbent Democratic President Harry S. Truman. Dewey ran with California Governor Earl Warren for vice president, and Truman ran with Kentucky Senator Alben W. Barkley. Dewey took 45.99 percent of the vote to Truman's 45.01 percent, a margin of 0.98 percent. Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace, a former Democratic Vice President who ran to the left of Truman and was nominated by the local American Labor Party, finished a strong third, with 8.25 percent.

New York weighed in for this election as 1% more third party than the national average, and less Democratic and Republican than the national average, despite New York being Governor Dewey's home state.

The presidential election of 1948 was a very multi-partisan election for New York, with more than eight percent of the electorate casting votes for third parties. In typical form for the time, the highly populated urban centers of New York City, Buffalo, and Albany, voted primarily Democratic, while most of the smaller counties in New York turned out for Dewey as the Republican candidate.

Henry Wallace's relatively strong third party support as a Progressive candidate was concentrated in the New York City area; in the three Democratic boroughs of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx), Wallace took percentages in the double digits. Truman's bleeding of left-wing support to Wallace in New York City contributed to his narrow loss of the state to Dewey, after New York had voted Democratic for Franklin Roosevelt in the preceding four elections. Although Truman lost the state, he did pick up Oneida County, which Roosevelt had lost in all his four elections and which had last been won for the Democrats in the three-way 1912 election, and before that by Grover Cleveland in 1884.

Dewey won the election in New York by a narrow margin of less than one point, despite it being his home state. Historical commentators have discussed how a major problem with the Dewey campaign was Dewey's almost crippling aloofness to the issues of the day. Commentators suggest any Dewey speech could be boiled down to the following: "Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead." Many Republican voters claimed to feel difficulty identifying with the largely distant and enigmatic candidate. Truman, meanwhile, ran a very aggressive campaign, which he focused on fighting communism, furthering the social programs established under the FDR administration, and expansion of civil rights.

The election of 1948 also greatly helped to solidify the new face of the Democratic Party as being more oriented toward human rights as backed by the Federal Government, than to states' rights, as was previously established during the Civil War. Truman's avocation of civil rights, particularly those of African Americans, alienated him from many southern Democrats and caused the first cracks to show in the Democratic dominance of the Deep South, which added ammunition to the growth of the Dixiecrat movement in the Deep South, though the movement enjoyed no success in New York. Rather, the major third-party candidate in New York during this tumultuous election year was former United States Vice President and new Progressive Party poster child Henry Wallace, who gained over eight percent of the vote in the state.

The most populous state in the country at the time, this was the first presidential election since 1916 where New York did not back the winning candidate. Truman is also the last Democrat to win a presidential election without winning New York. This was also the first time since the 1908 election the losing major party candidate won their home state and the first time since 1924 that any losing candidate did

Dewey's victory in the state made him the third and final Republican presidential candidate to win New York without winning the election, the first was John C. Frémont in 1856 and the second was Charles Evans Hughes in 1916.

Alexander Borodin

Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Порфи́рьевич Бороди́н, IPA: [ɐlʲɪkˈsandr pɐrˈfʲi rʲjɪvʲɪtɕ bərɐˈdʲin] (listen); 12 November 1833 – 27 February 1887) was a Russian chemist and Romantic musical composer of Georgian ancestry. He was one of the prominent 19th-century composers known as "The Mighty Handful", a group dedicated to producing a uniquely Russian kind of classical music, rather than imitating earlier Western European models. Borodin is known best for his symphonies, his two string quartets, the tone poem In the Steppes of Central Asia and his opera Prince Igor. Music from Prince Igor and his string quartets was later adapted for the US musical Kismet.

A doctor and chemist by profession, Borodin made important early contributions to organic chemistry. Although he is presently known better as a composer, during his lifetime, he regarded medicine and science as his primary occupations, only practising music and composition in his spare time or when he was ill. As a chemist, Borodin is known best for his work concerning organic synthesis, including being among the first chemists to demonstrate nucleophilic substitution, as well as being the co-discoverer of the aldol reaction. Borodin was a promoter of education in Russia and founded the School of Medicine for Women in Saint Petersburg, where he taught until 1885.

Bijan Kumar Mukherjea

Bijan Kumar Mukherjea (15 August 1891 – 1 February 1956) was the 4th Chief Justice of India. He was in his office from 22 December 1954 to 31 January 1956.

Ed Nottle

Edward William Nottle (born October 22, 1939), nicknamed "Singing Ed" because of his avocation as a singer, is a former Minor League Baseball relief pitcher and manager.

He has led teams in the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox organizations, and managed the independent Brockton Rox. His final season as manager was 2008 with the independent Ottawa Rapidz of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball.

Gustaf Johan Billberg

Gustaf Johan Billberg (14 June 1772, Karlskrona – 26 November 1844, Stockholm) was a Swedish botanist, zoologist and anatomist, although professionally and by training he was a lawyer and used science and biology as an avocation. The plant genus Billbergia was named for him by Carl Peter Thunberg.

Hans Reissner

Hans Jacob Reissner, also known as Jacob Johannes Reissner (18 January 1874, Berlin – 2 October 1967, Colton, Oregon), was a German aeronautical engineer whose avocation was mathematical physics. During World War I he was awarded the Iron Cross second class (for civilians) for his pioneering work on aircraft design.

Reissner was born into a wealthy Berlin family that benefited from an inheritance from his great-uncle on his mother's side. As a young engineering graduate, he spent a year in the U.S. working as a draftsman. After this year, he broadened his academic interests to include physics. As a young academic, he published mathematical papers on engineering problems.

During the Nazi regime Reissner was able to work in the aircraft industry although he did not have an Aryan certificate. In 1935 he lost his post at the Technical University of Berlin due to his Jewish ancestry, and in 1938 he emigrated to the United States. He taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1938–44) and the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (1944–54).

Curiously, it was this engineer, rather than a physicist or mathematician, who first solved Einstein's equation for the metric of a charged point mass. His closed-form solution, rediscovered by several other physicists within the next few years, is now called the Reissner–Nordström metric.

Eric Reissner (Max Erich Reissner, 1913–1996), his son, developed Mindlin–Reissner plate theory.

International Academy of Mathematical Chemistry

The International Academy of Mathematical Chemistry (IAMC) was founded in Dubrovnik (Croatia) in 2005 by Milan Randić. It is an organization for chemistry and mathematics avocation, and its predecessors have been around since the 1930s. The Academy Members are 88 (2011) from all over the world (27 countries), comprising six scientists awarded the Nobel Prize.

Jean-Jacques Cassiman

Jean-Jacques Cassiman (born 25 April 1943 in Brussels) is a Belgian researcher and professor of human genetics.

Jim Wearne

Jim Wearne (born 1950) is a Cornish-American singer-songwriter.

(The surname is pronounced in one syllable to rhyme with "cairn") Born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, he was raised in the Chicago area. Early interests in music and theatre led to a desire to become a performer. He learned to play the guitar in his teens, and performed mostly folk music at local venues. He studied theatre at Southern Illinois University, receiving a BS in theatre in 1972. His working career has included many occupations, including stagehand, salesman, meeting coordinator, retailer, and instructor, but his avocation has always been music.

His researches into folk music and family history led him to an interest in things Cornish, and Cornish music in particular. He has since written many songs on Cornish themes, and performs these songs and traditional Cornish material at festivals throughout the USA, and in Cornwall. His interest in Cornwall has led to a sympathy with the movement to establish national status for Cornwall within the United Kingdom. His song This Isn't England includes the lyric "This isn't England, you stupid twit!"

Wearne is notable as one of only two known exclusive proponents/performers of Cornish music in North America (the other being Marion Howard of Wisconsin.) Reviews of his work in publications such as Cornish World and Dirty Linen credit him with bringing the music, people and culture of Cornwall to America, where it is little known.

In spring 2002 at Castel Pendynas, Pendennis, Falmouth in Cornwall, Wearne was made a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd for services to Cornish Music in America (in Cornish: Rag gonys dhe Ylow Kernewek yn Ameryky) with the bardic name Canor Gwanethtyr - Singer of the Prairie.

Laza Lazarević

Lazar "Laza" K. Lazarević (Serbian Cyrillic: Лазаp К. Лазаревић, Šabac, 13 May 1851 – Belgrade, 10 January 1891, Gregorian calendar) was a Serbian writer, psychiatrist, and neurologist. The primary interest of Lazarević throughout his short life was the science of medicine. In that field he was one of the greatest figures of his time, pre-eminently distinguished and useful as a doctor, teacher, and a writer on both medical issues and literary themes. To him literature was an avocation; yet he was very good at it and thought of himself as a man of letters. He translated the works of Nikolay Chernyshevsky and Ivan Turgenev.

Few writers have achieved fame with such a small opus as Lazar Kuzmanović Lazarević, for it rests on nine stories; yet he is considered one of the best Serbian writers of the nineteenth century. He was often referred to as the Serbian Turgenev. During his brief life, "the less than prolific opus" enshrined him in Serbian literature as a writer who introduced the psychological story genre.

Myer J. Newmark

Myer Joseph Newmark (1838–1911) was the youngest city attorney in the history of Los Angeles, California, and was active in the affairs of that city in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to get their debut novel published, but once published they often continue to be published, although very few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work.

Novelists come from a variety of backgrounds and social classes, and frequently this shapes the content of their works. Public reception of a novelist's work, the literary criticism commenting on it, and the novelists' incorporation of their own experiences into works and characters can lead to the author's personal life and identity being associated with a novel's fictional content. For this reason, the environment within which a novelist works and the reception of their novels by both the public and publishers can be influenced by their demographics or identity; important among these culturally constructed identities are gender, sexual identity, social class, race or ethnicity, nationality, religion, and an association with place. Similarly, some novelists have creative identities derived from their focus on different genres of fiction, such as crime, romance or historical novels.

While many novelists compose fiction to satisfy personal desires, novelists and commentators often ascribe a particular social responsibility or role to novel writers. Many authors use such moral imperatives to justify different approaches to novel writing, including activism or different approaches to representing reality "truthfully".

Oscar Eugene Farish

Oscar Eugene Farish (1868–1917) was an oil man and businessman in Los Angeles, California, at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. He was a member of the Los Angeles City Council.


Polyglotism or polyglottism is knowledge of several languages, consisting of the ability to understand, speak, read, or write these languages. The word is a synonym of multilingualism, but in recent usage polyglot is sometimes used to refer to a person who learns multiple languages as an avocation. The term "hyperpolyglot" was coined in 2008 by linguist Richard Hudson to describe individuals who speak—to some degree—dozens of languages.Multilingualism, including multilingual societies as well as individuals who speak more than one language, is common. Individual polyglots or hyperpolyglots speak, study, or use large numbers of languages. In rare cases, polyglot savants have mental disabilities, but are able to learn many languages.

Ryerss Mansion

Ryerss Mansion, also known as Burholme Mansion, is a historic mansion in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The house was built on 85 acres by merchant Joseph Waln Ryerss in 1859 overlooking Burholme Park, one of the highest vistas in Philadelphia. Joseph was president of the Tioga Railroad and followed the family business of trading with China, Japan, and England. He also followed the family avocation of collecting art, especially oriental art.

Joseph died in 1868 leaving the house to his second wife Anne, and following her death, to his son Robert.

Robert also traveled and collected art which he displayed in the house. Less than a year before he died at age 65, Robert married his longtime housekeeper, Mary Ann Reed. She inherited a comfortable annuity and the house, with the house to be given to the City of Philadelphia after her death. She remarried three years after his death to the Reverend John G. Bawn and they continued the family avocations of traveling and art collecting. In 1905 she turned the house over to the city and it opened as a park, museum, and library in 1910 “Free to the people forever” under the administration of the Fairmount Park Commission. Mrs. Ryerss Bawn died in 1916 in China.

The Reverend Bawn then returned to Philadelphia and lobbied the city to build more galleries to house the now larger collection. These galleries were built in 1923.


A Sabbatical (from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), in Latin: sabbaticus, in Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός)) is a rest or break from work.

Snake Shyam

M. S. Balasubramania (born 1967), popularly known as Snake Shyam, is a snake enthusiast, wildlife conservationist and lecturer in Mysore, India. Though not a trained herpetologist, he is known throughout the Mysore region as a "naturalist on wheels". Shyam rescues and rehabilitates snakes and educates the public about them. He is also sometimes consulted by local hospitals to identify a species of snake prior to treating a snakebite victim.Shyam has been widely recognized for his work. National Geographic featured him in its Croc Chronicles: Snakes, Karma, Action special. Mysore city has named a street for him and has dedicated its first "urban forest" to him and fellow environmentalist Hyder Ali Khan.Shyam is also known for his personal flamboyance and has been described by The Hindu as "easily the most recognisable characters [sic] of Mysore, complete with his sun hat, overflowing beads and multiple rings that adorn his fingers".

Thomas Hornsby Ferril

Thomas Hornsby Ferril (1896–1988) was a poet in the U.S. state of Colorado. A journalist who specialized in corporate public relations, he studied and wrote poetry as an avocation. In his later years of life (1979-1988) he was named poet laureate of Colorado. Colorado Creative Industries has called him "Colorado's most celebrated poet." Carl Sandburg called him "The Poet of the Rockies".

Wild Man Blues

Wild Man Blues is a 1997 documentary film directed by Barbara Kopple, about the musical avocation of actor/director/comic Woody Allen. The film takes its name from a jazz composition, sometimes attributed to Jelly Roll Morton and sometimes to Louis Armstrong, and recorded (among others) by each of them. It depicts Allen's love of early 20th century New Orleans music by preserving performances on the 1996 tour in Europe by his New Orleans Jazz Band. Allen has played clarinet with this band for over 25 years.The musicians are:

Dan Barrett, on trombone

Simon Wettenhall, on trumpet

John Gill, on drums and vocals

Greg Cohen, on bass

Cynthia Sayer, on piano

Eddy Davis, band director, and on banjo

Allen, on clarinetAlthough their European tour is the primary focus, the film was also notable as the first major public showcase for Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi Previn.

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