John Maxtone-Graham, known for his ocean liner talks aboard cruise ships, and a noted authority on the topic, has passed away at 85.

Born in New Jersey, he grew up partially in England, and made his eloquent presentations with an English accent, often together with his wife Mary, who survives him.

Maxtone-Graham worked as a stage manager on Broadway before devoting his life to the history of ocean liners, writing several books about ocean liners and cruise ships, most notable may be The Only Way to Cross.

We first met Maxtone-Graham in 1980, when we attended one of his lectures in New York. Although we stayed in touch over the years, it was hard to keep up with John and Mary who spent most of their time at sea. However, later Angela and I did run into them at a New York City Ballet performance which led to several dinners at neighborhood restaurants on the upper East Side, including one at their brownstone, where Mary demonstrated her skills as a gourmet cook. Not surprisingly their home was decorated with ocean liner memorabilia.

Maxtone-Graham also wrote several articles for Cruise Industry News. (Oivind Mathisen)