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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

At Columbia College and the Pulitzer School of Journalism, one of the people a couple of years ahead of me or just back of me in a whole galaxy of future greats was Sokolsky--along with Corey Ford and Dick Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein and Morris Rysking and Howard Dietz and Richard Simon. Sokolsky was almost kicked out of Columbia because he was a flaming radical, believe it or not. He looked like all of the pictures you see of anarchists. You expected to see a bomb in his hand. He started a magazine up there--I think it was called Dynamite-- and almost got kicked out because of its revolutionary contents.

When he got out of Journalism School, however, Sokolsky found his way to China where, as we tell it, one night he met the National Association of Manufacturers. He came back from China a flaming reactionary. All the rest of his life. Sokolsky was a famous columnist for the Hearst papers and a black re- actionary...way over on the conservative side. It was an astonishing transformation.

Q:

How did he become friendly with you?

Cerf:

When he was at Columbia he was very poor. I didn't think that he got enough to eat. He was really a ragged fellow. I took him home several times just to give him a square meal. I remember that my mother used to rage when I'd bring in this dirty boy. But he was brilliant and interesting to listen to. It was rewarding to feed him! He never forgot this.

Years later we would meet, very often at the Dutch Treat



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