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Bennett Cerf

Publisher and Author
Born May 28, 1898

Bennett Alfred Cerf was an American publisher, one of the founders of American publishing firm Random House. Cerf was also known for his own compilations of jokes and puns, for regular personal appearances lecturing across the United States, and for his television appearances in the panel game show What's My Line?… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Bennett Cerf.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Bennett Cerf.


1898 Birth Born on May 25, 1898.


1925 27 Years Old In 1925 Cerf and Donald Klopfer formed a partnership to purchase the rights to the Modern Library from Boni & Liveright, and they went into business for themselves. They increased the series' popularity, and in 1927 began publishing general trade books which they had selected "at random." … Read More


1930 32 Years Old …  The office therefore decided to take action against the work under the provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930, which allowed a district attorney to bring action. … Read More
1933 35 Years Old In 1933 Cerf won United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, a landmark court case against government censorship, and thereafter published James Joyce's unabridged Ulysses for the first time in the United States (one chapter had been published in a Chicago-based literary magazine, which had led to its being found "a work of obscenity").
1935 37 Years Old Cerf married actress Sylvia Sidney on October 1, 1935; they divorced seven months later (April 9, 1936).


1940 42 Years Old He married Hollywood actress Phyllis Fraser, a cousin of Ginger Rogers, on September 17, 1940. … Read More


1951 53 Years Old 1 More Event
Prior to 1951, Cerf was an occasional panelist on the NBC game show, Who Said That?, in which celebrities try to determine the speaker of quotations taken from recent news reports.


1962 64 Years Old Another caricature of Cerf, named Harry Hubris and portrayed by Bert Lahr, appears in Perelman's 1962 play The Beauty Part. … Read More
1971 73 Years Old Cerf died in Mount Kisco, New York, on August 27, 1971, aged 73, survived by his wife and sons. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_Cerf.
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