Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

Interview #12
Interviewee: Bennett Cerf
Interviewer: Robbin Hawkins
New York City
January 10, 1968


This is Mrs. Hawkins and I'm interviewing Mr. Cerf and today is January 9. Excuse me, you were talking about...


To add to the Eugene O'Neill saga, in 1938 we published a two-volume, complete Greek drama, edited by Whitney Oates, who was one of the heads of the Princeton classics drama department, and Eugene O'Neill, Jr., a great big husky fellow, very neurotic and in dire need of bolstering, I thought. I hoped that this assignment would help. It did to some extent, but he suffered by being called Eugene O'Neill, Jr. and led me to make some very rapid conclusions about important men naming their sons after them, which is, I think, a terrible thing to do.


Of course, a man doesn't know that he's going to be important necessarily when he names his son, but you always have this...


Well, O'Neill knew by the time this son was born that he was becoming a well-known dramatist.

Young O'Neill was very bright, but with a terrible inferiority complex and wasn't helped any by Carlotta O'Neill who disliked him intensely. She told me, when I

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