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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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come wandering in. Horace promptly gave him a job. I said, “What are you going to do with him?”

He said, “What do I care what he does? Wait till Alfred Knopf finds out I've given his brother a job.”


What was Knopf's reaction?


Oh, Alfred was outraged. He tried to make his brother quit. Eddie Knopf wouldn't do it. Of course he only stayed several weeks. It was a joke on all sides. But Eddie Knopf later became a very well-known producer in Hollywood at MGM and had an adventure that ended his acting career. This was a few years after World War I. He was in Europe preparing to act the star in a picture, and he went down to southern Germany for the New Year holiday. In those days--they may still do it-- they used to shoot off fireworks on New Year's the way we do on the Fourth of July. Eddie Knopf went into a store there to buy Christmas presents. The store was crowded. There were hordes of kids and their parents. And over the counter was a string of hand grenades that had been picked up after World War I. A lot of them had the bolts still in them, and Eddie Knopf saw a little nine-year-old boy reach up and pull down one of these grenades, pulling the bolt out. Eddie very bravely grabbed this grenade out of the little boy's hand and ran out of the store to throw it out on the roadway. Just as he got to the doorway the grenade exploded and wrecked the store and blew off Eddie Knopf's hand. Of course that was the end of

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