"from either The World Book Encyclopedia or a reference work entitled Men of Thought and Deed"

Sadly, the brilliantly-titled Men of Thought and Deed does not exist. The World Book Encyclopedia is a multi-volume encyclopedia published in America, the equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica in the U.K. The first edition of The World Book Encyclopedia was published in 1917, and consisted of eight volumes; it has been updated almost every year since.