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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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I had met him, thought that he was a wonderful gentleman, and, also, did not think that he was through by a long-shot. We had lunch and talked. Harry Maule is one of the great gentlemen of this world. He's still alive-- just. He's very old and very feeble today. He retired a couple of years ago. He stayed with us, this man that Malcolm Johnson said was through in 1940, ‘till about 1964. He was with us about twenty-three or twenty-four years. At this luncheon he said, “I would like to come with Random House, but I won't guarantee to deliver one author.” This delighted me. You know, he didn't say, “I'll bring you so and so.” He said, “I won't guarantee you. I may not be able to get one author, but I'm very close friends with the authors that I edited and there's a chance that I can get. ...” Then he made a list of authors that floored me, beginning with Sinclair Lewis, William McFee--at that time famous for Casuals of the Sea, Command, Captain Macedoine's Daughter--and Vincent Sheehan and Mignon Eberhardt. Well, those were the plums, and he said, “I don't know if I can get any of them.”

Well, he got them all--every single one of them!


A humble man though.


And a superb editor! Of course this was the end of Malcolm Johnson. What a deserved fate! And Harry came with us and, as I say, we signed all of his authors.

Now, Sinclair Lewis, I had known. But...

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