Height of Art Buchwald
The height of Art Buchwald is …m.
1. Where did Art Buchwald come from ?
Arthur Buchwald (October 20, 1925 – January 17, 2007) was an American humorist best known for his column in The Washington Post. At the height of his popularity, it was published nationwide as a syndicated column in more than 500 newspapers. His column focused on political satire and commentary.
2. What could we know about Art Buchwald besides his height ?
Buchwald had first started writing as a paid journalist in Paris after World War II, where he wrote a column on restaurants and nightclubs, Paris After Dark, for the Paris Herald Tribune. He was part of a large American expatriate community in those years. After his return to the United States in 1962, he continued to publish his columns and books for the rest of his life. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1982 for Outstanding Commentary, and in 1991 was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, in addition to other awards.
3. What are the projects of Art Buchwald ?
Buchwald was born in New York City in 1925, to an Austrian-Hungarian Jewish immigrant family. He was the son of Joseph Buchwald, a curtain manufacturer, and Helen (Klineberger). His mother suffered from depression and was later committed to a mental hospital, where she lived for 35 years. Buchwald was the youngest of four children, with three older sisters: Alice, Edith, and Doris. When the family business failed at the start of the Great Depression, Buchwald’s father put the boy in the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in New York City, as he could not care for him. Buchwald was soon placed in foster homes, and lived in several, including a Queens boarding house for sick children (he had rickets because of poor nutrition). It was operated by Seventh-day Adventists. He stayed in the foster home until he was 5.
4. Somme collaborations with Art Buchwald ?
Buchwald was eventually reunited with his father and sisters; the family settled in Hollis, a residential community in Queens. Buchwald did not graduate from Forest Hills High School, and ran away from home at age 17.
He wanted to join the United States Marine Corps during World War II but was too young to join without parental or legal guardian consent. He bribed a drunk with half a pint of whiskey to sign as his legal guardian. From October 1942 to October 1945, Buchwald served with the Marines as part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. He spent two years in the Pacific Theater and was discharged from the service as a sergeant. He said of his time in the Marines, “In the Marines, they don’t have much use for humorists, they beat my brains in.”
On his return, Buchwald enrolled at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on the G.I. Bill, despite not having graduated from high school. At USC he became managing editor of the campus magazine Wampus; he also wrote a column for the college newspaper, the Daily Trojan. The university permitted him to continue his studies after learning he had not graduated from high school, but deemed him ineligible for a degree. After establishing his national reputation and winning the Pulitzer Prize, he was invited as a commencement speaker in 1993 and received an honorary doctorate from the university.
In 1949 Buchwald left USC and bought a one-way ticket to Paris. He got a job as a correspondent for Variety in Paris. In January 1950, he took a sample column to the offices of the European edition of The New York Herald Tribune. Titled “Paris After Dark”, it was filled with scraps of offbeat information about Parisian nightlife. Buchwald was hired and joined the editorial staff as a restaurant and nightclub reviewer. His column caught on quickly, and in 1951 Buchwald started another column, “Mostly About People”. They were fused into one under the title “Europe’s Lighter Side”. Buchwald’s columns soon began to attract readers on both sides of the Atlantic.
In postwar Paris, Buchwald met many American expatriate writers, going about with Janet Flanner, E.B. White, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, and Thornton Wilder. He also had brief encounters with the artist Pablo Picasso, writer Ernest Hemingway, directors Orson Welles and Mike Todd, actress Audrey Hepburn, and attorney Roy Cohn.
In November 1952, Buchwald wrote a column in which he attempted to explain the Thanksgiving holiday to the French, using garbled French translations such as “Kilometres Deboutish” for Miles Standish; Buchwald considered it his favorite column. He published it every Thanksgiving during his lifetime.
Buchwald enjoyed the notoriety he received when U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower’s press secretary, Jim Hagerty, took seriously a spoof press conference report claiming that reporters asked questions about the president’s breakfast habits. After Hagerty which name is his own conference to denounce the article as “unadulterated rot,” Buchwald famously retorted, “Hagerty is wrong. I write adulterated rot.” On August 24, 1959, TIME magazine, in reviewing the history of the European edition of The Herald Tribune, reported that Buchwald’s column had achieved an “institutional quality.”
While in Paris, Buchwald became the only correspondent to substantively interview famous American singer Elvis Presley, who had entered the US Army. They met at the Prince de Galles Hotel, where the soon-to-be Sgt. Presley was staying during a week-end off from his army stint in Germany. Presley’s impromptu performances at the piano at Le Lido nightclub, as well as his singing for the showgirls after most of the customers had left, became legendary after Buchwald included it in his memoir, I’ll Always Have Paris (1995).
Buchwald returned to the United States in 1962. He wrote as a columnist for The Washington Post”, frequently commenting on the political scene. When once asked where he got his ideas, he said simply that he read the newspaper every day. He could not make up the absurd situations that were reported. His column was syndicated by Tribune Media Services. His column appeared in more than 550 newspapers at its height. He also wrote memoirs and other books, a total of more than 30 in his lifetime. He also contributed fumetti to Marvel Comics’ Crazy Magazine, which tore apart statistics regarding 1970s campus life.
During his time in Paris, Buchwald met Ann McGarry, and they married. She was an Irish-American apprentice couturier from Pennsylvania. After returning to the United States, they later adopted three children. They lived in Washington, D.C., where he wrote for The Washington Post. They spent most summers at their house in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. After 40 years of marriage, the couple separated, and then decided to get a divorce. However before the divorce proceedings could start, Ann was diagnosed with lung cancer, and passed away in 1994.
Buchwald had a cameo in Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (1955). Near the beginning of the movie, an issue of the Paris Herald Tribune is shown in close-up to highlight a column, bylined by Buchwald, about jewel thefts on the French Riviera, which sets up the plot.
He contributed to the English dialogue of Jacques Tati’s Playtime. Buchwald also had a cameo act in a 1972 episode, “Moving Target,” of the TV series Mannix. He is shown in Frederick Wiseman’s 1983 movie “The Store” delivering a tribute to Stanley Marcus, the store’s owner.
In 1988 Buchwald and partner Alain Bernheim filed suit against Paramount Pictures in a controversy over the Eddie Murphy movie Coming to America. In the Buchwald v. Paramount lawsuit, Buchwald claimed Paramount had stolen his script treatment. He won, was awarded damages, and accepted a settlement from Paramount. The case was the subject of a 1992 book, Fatal Subtraction: The Inside Story of Buchwald v. Paramount.
In Buchwald’s later years, his detractors characterized the column as hackneyed, tiresome and not funny. Political analyst Norman Ornstein in 1991 said he thought Buchwald’s column was more popular “outside the Beltway”; others disagreed.
Roy Bode, editor of the Dallas Times Herald, said that when his paper canceled Buchwald’s column in 1989, the editors did not receive a single letter of protest. By contrast, when the paper cancelled the comic strip Zippy the Pinhead, so many readers complained that the editors were compelled to bring it back.
In September 2005, Timothy Noah wrote in Slate.com, “Yes, Buchwald still writes his column. No, it hasn’t been funny for some time.”
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