Franklin Pierce Adams, 1881 - 1960
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.
Franklin Pierce Adams quotes:
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- Christmas is over and Business is Business. permalink
- Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody. permalink
- Having imagination it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that if you were unimaginative would take you only a minute. permalink
- Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year. permalink
- I am easily influenced. Compared with me a weather vane is Gibraltar. permalink
- I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way. permalink
- In a body [like Congress] where there are more than one hundred talking lawyers, you can make no calculation upon the termination of any debate. permalink
- Money isn't everything, but lack of money isn't anything. permalink
- Ninety-two percent of the stuff told you in confidence you couldn't get anyone else to listen to. permalink
- Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory. permalink
- Since I am used to speaking in public, I know that it is useless. permalink
- The best part of the fiction in many novels is the notice that the characters are purely imaginary. permalink
- The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time. permalink
- There are plenty of good five-cent cigars in the country. The trouble is they cost a quarter. What this country needs is a good five-cent nickel. permalink
- There must be a day or two in a man's life when he is the precise age for something important. permalink
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