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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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lunch with Richard Simon and Horace Liveright--and never went back to Wall Street.


You went in and said you were going to take this job?


We went to lunch at the Algonquin, and Liveright pointed out to me the Roundtable, and for the first time I cast my eyes on a lot of people who were going to be very closely associated with my life--Dorothy Parker, Robert Sherwood, Marc Connolly, Franklin P. Adams, Robert Benchley. I was delighted! And Liveright turned on the charm for me. He looked like John Barrymore. He'd always say, “Don't you think I look like John Barrymore?" He did. He had a very interesting profile. He was quite vain. He had a flair. And when he wanted to be, he was a very charming man. He sure charmed the hell out of me.


How did he outline the job?


Well, Dick Simon was helping, saying, “We're a small firm.” Liveright said, “We're a very individual firm. I have my own ideas of publishing.” He said, “You can go up very quickly in our firm if you've got the stuff. I hear you've got some money. I need money very much. If you'd like to come in with style, if you put a little money into the business, I'll make you a vice-president.”

So I said, “How much money?”

He said, “If you will loan me $25,000, which I need

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