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June 28, 2022 2 min

Ben Steele, American is a documentary podcast limited series inspired by the book "Tears in the Darkness - The story of the Bataan Death March" and is narrated by Alec Baldwin. 

A boy from rural Montana, sent to the Philippines, Ben Steele became a prisoner-of-war within the first five months of the outbreak of World War II. He survived the infamous Bataan Death March and other horrific events. He was given last rites three times in the prison camp and miraculously survived. While recovering in the prison hospital he began to draw with the charcoal from the fire pit. Drawing helped keep Ben sane for the duration of his imprisonment.

After a 62 -day trip on a hell ship Ben ended up in Japan as a slave laborer in a coal mine. After the war he studied art with several famous artists such as John Teyral, Jack Levine, Hans Mueller and George Grosz. Ben taught art at a college in Billings Montana and had a particular empathy for, and influence on, students who had suffered traumas in their own lives. Ben thought of himself as just a regular guy. But he was a talented artist, wonderful teacher and mentor and a wonderful human being admired by everyone who met him.

This is the story of Ben Steele; the best of human beings in the worst of times. Ben Steele, American has first person interviews with over thirty former prisoners-of-war including numerous Bataan Death March survivors. The podcast has interviews with notable history scholars from around the world. Interviews with Ben Steele were acquired over a span thirty years. Listen to Ben Steele, American on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts.

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