Franklin Pierce Adams, 1881 - 1960

portrait of Franklin Pierce Adams


Born: 15 November 1881, Chicago, Illinois
Died: 23 March 1960, New York City

Born Franklin Leopold Adams, he changed his middle name to Pierce at his confirmation in 1894. He graduated from Armour Scientific Academy in 1899 and went on to the University of Michigan but only stayed a year, dropping out to sell life insurance. One of his first customers suggested he try his had at journalism, he worked at the Chicago Journal for a year before moving to New York. He wrote for the New York Evening Mail through 1913, there he started his column which was known as "Always in Good Humor". He moved to the New York Tribune and changed the name of the column to "The Conning Tower", a title he kept until his retirement in 1941. He moved to the New York World (1922) which merged with New York Telegram (1931), back to the Tribune (by then the Herald Tribune, 1937), and finally the New York Post. (He spent World War I at Stars and Stripes.) His column publicized many writers and launched the careers of several, notably including Dorothy Parker and James Thurber. He became so well known that his byline was simply "FPA". He also starred in the radio series Information Please from 1938 to 1948. He suffered memory loss and bad temper starting in the late '40s, probably from Alzheimer's, and spent his last years in a nursing home.

Biography from Wikipedia and Michael Gilleland

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