Home
Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker
Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 1029

Q:

That's right. I was sort of wondering. This sort of fits in.

Cerf:

Before I start telling about my sons, I had better tell about their mother. I told you that after Sylvia Sidney and I called it quits, for quite a while I rather resented women in general and idled around with various and sundry, with an exciting interlude of Miss Thompson, the girl for whom I went to Spain... But let's get on to the most important girl in my life: Phyllis Fraser!

One of my close friends in 1938 was Harold Ross, the founder of the New Yorker, the man who made the whole New Yorker magazine. Ross was a strange mixture of people. He was, I think, the greatest magazine editor we've ever had in this country, but he was very gauche. People would imagine the editor of the New Yorker to be a polished gentleman. Harold always looked as though he'd just gotten off a train from Sauk Center. He had a great big gap in his front teeth. Once he asked for dental floss, and Woollcott said, “Never mind. Get him a hawser!" He was a very naive man...very pure. He would never allow a bad word in the New Yorker. Any salacious story submitted to the New Yorker was killed by Ross. That led to many fights with Mr. Woollcott, who always tried to sneak in little naughty stories.

At any rate, Ross became a very good friend of mine.

Q:

Did he ever direct authors to you?



© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help