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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029


Very quickly all the publishers got wise to the fact that the New Yorker was uncovering the smart young writers, and, in fact, Ross would go around screaming that the book publishers were picking his brains all the time. The minute he found a young author, sixteen publishers were after him to sign him up. Of course, he'd just scream about this. He screamed about everything. He was a fantastically interesting and amusing man, but, as I say, had no manners. But girls liked him anyway because he was unique.

Just to digress for a minute... Last year the New Yorker magazine gave a big luncheon in honor of Muggeridge of Punch. There were about 250 people there, including everybody from the New Yorker Magazine. When they left, somebody said to Muggeridge, “It's a pity that Ross couldn't have lived to be here today.” Muggeridge said, “As far as I'm concerned, Harold Ross was the only man in the room.” This was after he had been dead over ten years. His memory in the New Yorker is kept in fact too green. They're so busy keeping the New Yorker the way it was when Ross edited it that I think it's going way downhill.

Anyway, Harold and I became very good friends; and through Harold I met Ginger Rogers, the reason being that Ross adored Ginger Rogers. Now, he was used to being waited on hand and foot. Everybody was scared to death of Harold Ross; as the New Yorker got bigger and bigger, Ross became more of a tradition. But Ginger was something else. She treated Harold with an amused tolerance. She loved him very much, but to her

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