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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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very badly (I found out later why), you can come in as vice- president.”

So I said, “Gosh, that's very interesting. Let me give it some thought.”

He said, “No, I've got to know pretty quickly. As a matter of fact, I've got to go back to the office. I promised to take Theodore Dreiser to the baseball game this afternoon. I'm bored to death by baseball. Bennett, if you want to get in good with me quick, how about taking these tickets and taking Dreiser up to the ball game?”

Well, I'd never met an important author in my life, and at this time Theodore Dreiser was a giant. He hadn't written American Tragedy yet. We'll get to that. But he had written Sister Carrie and Jennie Gerhardt.

Well, that's when I went to the telephone and called up downtown and said, “I won't be back this afternoon. As a matter of fact, I won't be back at all. I'm going into the publishing business. Goodbye, everybody.”


Did you look at his balance sheet or anything before you loaned him the $25,000?


No, it was a loan.


Yes, but you don't loan a sum like that to just anybody!


Well, they had a private house. I can still remember

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