Bennett Cerf
American publisher and author
Bennett Cerf
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?
Biography
Bennett Cerf's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Bennett Cerf from around the web
'What's My Line?' When the famous were really famous - Orlando Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
Panelists included New York's urbane and witty: publisher Bennett Cerf (who comes across as both arrogant and clueless), smart-funny actor Arlene Francis and prissy columnist Dorothy Kilgallen. (I remember my grandmother saying she didn't like
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New bridge to connect walking trail to park - Carroll County Times
Google News - over 5 years
The Carroll County Recreation and Parks are completing the final part a project that will provide additional access to Bennett Cerf Park in Westminster. A 60-foot long pedestrian bridge is the final piece of the walking trail project,
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Exploring The Twilight Zone, Episode #53: "Twenty-Two" - Twitch
Google News - over 5 years
The teleplay by Rod Serling is based on an anecdote by Bennett Cerf from his book anthology "Famous Ghost Stories," published in 1944. The anecdote is based on a 1906 short story by EF Benson. On the Next Episode: "Passing through the sound barrier,
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When the keys go silent... - The Hindu
Google News - over 5 years
Famous American publisher Bennett Cerf mentioned a prolific writer who disliked his wife but would not divorce her because she was the only one who could change the ribbons in his typewriter and also disentangle him from the mess whenever he tried to
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Before Barbara Sinatra - Huffington Post
Google News - over 5 years
He flew her to Las Vegas for his shows and to weekend with him at publisher Bennett Cerf's house in Westchester County. "I was not a show girl," she said, "so he felt he could introduce me to all sorts of people." She also accompanied him to his
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Matter of Faith: Call from God always comes loud and clear - Leader-Telegram
Google News - over 5 years
Several years ago I had the good fortune to minister to a wonderful patient who always shared with me a humorous thought or saying, which was attributed to one of Bennett Cerf's books of humor. After chatting about the day's activities and any concerns
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Police investigating death of man killed in forklift accident at Random House - Carroll County Times
Google News - over 5 years
Ronald William Schlitzer, 44, was killed when the forklift he was driving hit a shelving unit in the warehouse in the 400 block of Bennett Cerf Drive in Westminster around 3 am Wednesday morning while moving pallets of books, according to a sheriff's
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Wind Gap poet Edwin Romond on baseball, AIDS, life - Allentown Morning Call
Google News - over 5 years
The truth is that he wrote it to win a bet with his publisher, Bennett Cerf. Seuss wagered that he could write a book using no more than 50 different words. "I'm getting blamed for a lot of stuff I haven't done," Seuss told an interviewer
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Bob Loomis Talks Cerf And Turf Ahead Of His Retirement - New York Observer
Google News - over 5 years
The new publishing house shared an eight-space lot with a nearby church, and the company's co-founder, Bennett Cerf, was consistently irked by one confused clergyman, who parked in a Random House space each day and left his Bible resting in the front
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The almanac - UPI.com
Google News - over 5 years
... aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky in 1889; Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito in 1892; heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney in 1897; humorist and publisher Bennett Cerf in 1898; songwriter Hal David in 1921; actor Claude Akins in 1926;
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Random House - The Atlantic
Google News - over 5 years
Random House founder Bennett Cerf described him in a memoir published after his death in 1971 as "one of those painstaking editors in the old tradition ... helpful to a great variety of writers of both fiction and non-fiction
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Nurturer Of Authors Is Closing The Book
NYTimes - almost 6 years
If anyone is qualified to talk about the good old days of book publishing, it is Robert Loomis. He began working at Random House 54 years ago, back when the publisher's founders, Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, were still roaming the halls. ''Before we bought lots of companies and before a lot of companies bought us,'' Mr. Loomis said in an
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Nurturer of Authors Is Closing the Book - New York Times
Google News - almost 6 years
He began working at Random House 54 years ago, back when the publisher's founders, Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, were still roaming the halls. “Before we bought lots of companies and before a lot of companies bought us,” Mr. Loomis said in an
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Robert Loomis, editor of Styron, Angelou, retires - The Associated Press
Google News - almost 6 years
Trillin, in a phone interview, called Loomis the "last link" to the old, pre-corporate Random House, when it was run by founder Bennett Cerf. Loomis, Trillin said, was the kind of editor who would "say the things you were supposed to say, like,
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BOOKS OF THE TIMES; Application Adventure: A Dad's College Essay
NYTimes - almost 6 years
CRAZY U One Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College By Andrew Ferguson 228 pages. Simon & Schuster. $25. Asked to come up with a mock title for a surefire best seller, the legendary publisher Bennett Cerf (1898-1971) is said to have replied, sticking a finger into the prevailing winds, ''Lincoln's Doctor's Dog.'' As far as I know, no
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Pentagon Tries to Corner Book to Keep Secrets
NYTimes - over 6 years
WASHINGTON -- Defense Department officials are negotiating to buy and destroy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of an Afghan war memoir they say contains intelligence secrets, according to two people familiar with the dispute. The publication of ''Operation Dark Heart,'' by Anthony A. Shaffer, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer and
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bennett Cerf
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1971
    Age 72
    Cerf died from natural causes in Mount Kisco, New York, on August 27, 1971, aged 73, survived by his wife and sons.
    More Details Hide Details Random House published his autobiography, At Random: The Reminiscences of Bennett Cerf, in 1977. Bennett Cerf Drive, just outside the City of Westminster in Carroll County, Maryland, is named after him. This is the location of the Random House Westminster Distribution Center & Offices, one of two Random House distribution facilities in the U.S., as well as the location of Bennett Cerf Park.
  • 1967
    Age 68
    Cerf was interviewed in 1967 and 1968 by Robin Hawkins, a freelancer working for the Oral History Research Office at Columbia University.
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  • 1964
    Age 65
    He was similarly portrayed as publisher "Bennett Blake" on The Patty Duke Show in the 1964 episode "Auld Lang Syne".
    More Details Hide Details In 2006, Peter Bogdanovich portrayed Cerf in the film Infamous.
  • 1962
    Age 63
    Perelman's 1962 play, The Beauty Part, features the caricature Harry Hubris, who was based on Cerf and played on Broadway by Bert Lahr.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 1951
    Age 52
    In 1951, he began appearing weekly on What's My Line? and continued for 16 years until the show ended its run on CBS in 1967.
    More Details Hide Details Until his death, Cerf continued to appear regularly on the CBS Films, Inc. (now Viacom) syndicated version of What's My Line?, along with Arlene Francis. Cerf was known as "Bennett Snerf" in a Sesame Street puppet parody of What's My Line? During his time on What's My Line?, Cerf received an honorary degree from the University of Puget Sound.
    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.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1940
    Age 41
    He married Hollywood actress Phyllis Fraser, a cousin of Ginger Rogers, on September 17, 1940.
    More Details Hide Details They had two sons, Christopher and Jonathan. In 1959, Maco Magazine Corporation published what became known as "The Cream of the Master's Crop," a compilation of Cerf's jokes, gags, stories, puns, and wit.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1935
    Age 36
    Cerf married actress Sylvia Sidney on October 1, 1935; they divorced seven months later on April 9, 1936.
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  • 1933
    Age 34
    In 1933, Cerf won United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, a landmark court case against government censorship, and thereafter he published James Joyce's unabridged Ulysses for the first time in the United States. (One chapter had been published in Margaret Anderson's and Jane Heap's The Little Review, a Chicago-based literary magazine, which had led to its being found "a work of obscenity.") In 1933, Random House had the rights to publish the book in the United States, and they arranged for a test case to challenge the implicit ban so as to publish the work without fear of prosecution.
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  • 1930
    Age 31
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Cerf later presented the French-language book to Columbia University. In 1944, Cerf published the first of his collection of joke books Try and Stop Me, with illustrations drawn by Carl Rose. A second book Shake Well Before Using was published in 1949. It was at this time that he became a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors, serving from 1946 through 1967, then returning to the board from 1970 to 1971. Additionally, he served as Chair Juror of the Peabody Jurors Board from 1954 to the end of his first term in 1967 and published a weekly column titled "The Cerf Board," in the Sunday supplement magazine "This Week." In the early 1950s, while maintaining a Manhattan residence, Cerf bought an estate at Mount Kisco, New York which became his country home for the rest of his life. A Mount Kisco street named Cerf Lane runs from Croton Avenue and is named after him.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1925
    Age 26
    In 1925, Cerf and Donald S. 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 popularity of the series and, in 1927, they began publishing general trade books which they had selected "at random."
    More Details Hide Details This began their publishing business, which in time they named Random House. It used as its logo a little house drawn by Cerf's friend and fellow Columbia alumnus Rockwell Kent. Cerf's talent in building and maintaining relationships brought contracts with such writers as William Faulkner, John O'Hara, Eugene O'Neill, James Michener, Truman Capote, Theodor Seuss Geisel, and others. He published Atlas Shrugged, written by Ayn Rand, even though he vehemently disagreed with her philosophy of Objectivism. He admired her "sincerity" and "brilliance," and the two became lifelong friends.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1898
    Born
    Born on May 25, 1898.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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