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Flemming Heilmann was born 1936 in Malaya of Danish parents, spending his early childhood there until the threat of Japanese invasion forced an evacuation to unknown Australia in 1941. Joined later by his father who escaped Singapore as she fell, the family spent World War II as refugees. As soon as the war ended in Europe, but before the Japanese capitulation, the family traveled home to Denmark on a troopship evading kamikaze attacks in the Pacific.
Flemming's school education spanned Australia, Denmark - where he sank deep cultural roots - and formative years in the United Kingdom before he graduated from Cambridge with a law degree. During this period he spent time in British colonial Malaya during the communist uprising before its independence, in Swaziland under British rule and in South Africa while apartheid laws were being put into place. During the post war recovery, Flemming developed an appreciation of America's role in the rehabilitation of war torn Europe and an understanding of the mighty US economic engine driving economic, technological and social progress in the world.
A 40-year executive career in industry took him back to South Africa for 17 years and on to the USA in the mid-1970s with stints on the European continent and in Canada.
Flemming lives with his wife Judy in Connecticut, has four sons, a daughter and nine grandsons.