Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Clifton Fadiman papers, 1966-1970 

Fadiman, Clifton, 1904-1999,.
Phys. Desc: 
1.5 linear feet (1.5 linear feet 3 document boxes)
Call Number: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Clifton P. Fadiman (1904-1999), known to friends as Kip, was a well-known author, editor, and broadcast personality. Born in Brooklyn to Russian immigrant parents, Fadiman developed an interest in language and literature very early on. He attended Columbia University, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1925. After beginning his career as an editor at Simon and Schuster, Fadiman worked as the book review editor for The New Yorker from 1933 to 1943. In 1938, Fadiman was hired as the host of a radio quiz show called Information Please. The show ran for over ten years; after it was taken off the air, Fadiman hosted a number of other radio and television programs. In 1944 Fadiman became an editor and judge for the Book-of-the-Month club, a position he held for over fifty years. He was also a consultant and contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, for which he wrote an article on children's literature of which he was especially proud. Children's literature was a life-long interest; he edited the World Treasury of Children's Literature, published in 1984, and wrote a book review column in the children's magazine Cricket (of which he was a senior editor). Fadiman was an extremely prolific author, writing on subjects from poetry to mathematics to wine, and the editor of numerous anthologies and collections. In 1993 he was honored with the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Fadiman married Pauline Elizabeth Rush in 1927. The couple had a son, Jonathan Rush. In 1949 they divorced, and Fadiman married Annalee Jacoby the next year. They had two children, Kim and Anne. Fadiman died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 95.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists mainly of drafts, both hand-written and typed, for various writings and lectures. Particularly well-represented is Fadiman's work for Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Book-of-the-Month club. Some correspondence and research materials are also included in the collection.