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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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Session:         Page of 824

speed picking out the ones he liked. Had the photographer been watching it would have broken his heart because he would have thought that John would be looking at each picture with great care. He'd just go through it, either go through a pack of sixty, eighty prints in three minutes, and pull out the ones he wanted, and then get the art director and the editor to work together on the kind of layout that he had organized. He was equally well organized in terms of text editing. I can remember time and again being called in and he would pull out of his box the copy that I had written, and starting from the first sentence without, as far as I could tell, even having read my priceless prose, he would start by editing it and go line by line re-writing the whole thing. At the end he'd hand it back to me and say, “Andrew, that's just fine”. [laughter] Quite extraordinary.

All people, including managing editors, of course, have got their foibles, and their particular likes and dislikes. John's likes were trains. If you had any idea of any story having to do with trains, that was in. John's dislike was pigs. No pigs ever appeared in the magazine. He just didn't like pigs. I don't know that he had very much of an outside life. He was married. No children. His wife called him in the office all the time. He had endless patience with these conversations. I think he just--in the evenings he went to the movies, went to bed, and came back to work the next day. His great passion was the plantation that he owned in Georgia, was it? Georgia, I think so. Radcliffe, which is where he retired to. He was managing editor until about 1944, 1945, and was succeeded by his number two man, Dan Longwell, who was exactly the contrary of John.

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