Bennett Cerf

Bennet CerfBennett
Bennett Alfred Cerf (May 25, 1898 – August 27, 1971) was an American publisher, one of the founders of American publishing firm Random House.wikipedia
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What's My Line?

What's My LineWhat’s My Line?British version of ''What's My Line?
Cerf was also known for his own compilations of jokes and puns, for regular personal appearances lecturing across the United States, and for his television appearances in the panel game show What's My Line?
Moderated by John Charles Daly and with regular panelists Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis, and Bennett Cerf, What's My Line? won three Emmy Awards for "Best Quiz or Audience Participation Show" in 1952, 1953, and 1958 and the Golden Globe for Best TV Show in 1962.

Random House

Arrow BooksRandom House AustraliaCentury
Bennett Alfred Cerf (May 25, 1898 – August 27, 1971) was an American publisher, one of the founders of American publishing firm Random House.
Random House was founded in 1925 by Americans Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, two years after they acquired the Modern Library imprint from publisher Horace Liveright, which reprints classic works of literature.

Townsend Harris High School

Townsend Harris HallTownsend Harris Hall High School
Cerf graduated from Townsend Harris High School in 1916, the same public school as publisher Richard Simon and playwright Howard Dietz.

Donald S. Klopfer

Donald Klopfer
In 1925, Cerf and Donald S. Klopfer formed a partnership to purchase the rights to the Modern Library from Boni & Liveright, and they went into business for themselves.
Donald Simon Klopfer (January 23, 1902 – May 30, 1986) was an American publisher, one of the founders of American publishing firm Random House, along with Bennett Cerf.

Truman Capote

CapoteCapote in KansasTruman Coyote
Cerf's talent in building and maintaining relationships brought contracts with such writers as William Faulkner, John O'Hara, Eugene O'Neill, James Michener, Truman Capote, Theodor Seuss Geisel, and others.
The critical success of "Miriam" (1945) attracted the attention of Random House publisher Bennett Cerf and resulted in a contract to write the novel Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948).

Modern Library

The Modern LibraryH. LiverightModern Library Award
In 1925, Cerf and Donald S. Klopfer formed a partnership to purchase the rights to the Modern Library from Boni & Liveright, and they went into business for themselves.
Founded in 1917 by Albert Boni and Horace Liveright as an imprint of their publishing company Boni & Liveright, it was purchased in 1925 by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer.

Columbia College (New York)

Columbia CollegeColumbia College of Columbia UniversityColumbia College, Columbia University
He received his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia College of Columbia University (1919) and his Litt.B. (1920) from its School of Journalism.
Major publishers included were Alfred Knopf, Arthur Sulzberger, and Bennett Cerf.

Try and Stop Me (book)

Try and Stop Me
In 1944, Cerf published the first of his collection of joke books Try and Stop Me, with illustrations drawn by Carl Rose.
Try and Stop Me (1944) is a best-selling book written by American publisher and writer Bennett Cerf and illustrated by artist Carl Rose.

Atlas Shrugged

novel of the same nameGalt's Gulchsame name
He published Atlas Shrugged, written by Ayn Rand, even though he vehemently disagreed with her philosophy of Objectivism.
In an early discussion about the difficulties of publishing a controversial novel, Random House president Bennett Cerf proposed that Rand should submit the manuscript to multiple publishers simultaneously and ask how they would respond to its ideas, so she could evaluate who might best promote her work.

Horace Liveright

Boni & LiverightLiveright
He then was named a vice-president of the publishing firm Boni & Liveright.
His faltering financial status meant that he had to sell the Modern Library to then-vice-president Bennett Cerf in 1925.

Famous Writers School

scam school for writers
Cerf was the subject of Jessica Mitford's exposé, published in the July 1970 issue of Atlantic Monthly, which denounced the business practices of the Famous Writers School which Cerf had founded.
Founded in 1961 by Bennett Cerf, Gordon Carroll, and Albert Dorne, it became the subject of a scandal after a 1970 exposé by Jessica Mitford, who noted the school's questionable academic and business practices.

Ulysses (novel)

Ulysses UlyssesPrivate Carr
In 1933, Cerf won United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, a landmark court case against government censorship, and thereafter he published James Joyce's unabridged Ulysses for the first time in the United States.
Reportedly 2000–3000 copies were printed but the majority were seized and destroyed by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice after a raid on his offices on 4th October 1929 A copy of this edition was unknowingly used by Bennett Cerf of Random House as the basis for the first authorised US edition printed in 1934, reproducing many of these errors.

United States v. One Book Called Ulysses

ruled that the novel was not obscene and could be published in Americathe obscenity prosecutionUnited States v. One Book Entitled Ulysses
In 1933, Cerf won United States v. One Book Called Ulysses, a landmark court case against government censorship, and thereafter he published James Joyce's unabridged Ulysses for the first time in the United States.
Within minutes of hearing of the decision, Bennett Cerf of Random House instructed the typesetters to start work on the book.

Who Said That?

Prior to 1951, Cerf was an occasional panelist on the NBC game show Who Said That?, in which celebrities try to determine the speaker of quotations taken from recent news reports.
Recurring panelists included Morey Amsterdam, Al Capp, June Lockhart, Kitty Carlisle, Bennett Cerf, Oscar Levant, and columnists Bob Considine and Earl Wilson.

Christopher Cerf (producer)

Christopher CerfChris CerfChristopher
They had two sons, Christopher and Jonathan.
His father was co-founder of Random House, publisher, editor and TV panelist Bennett Cerf.

Carl Rose (cartoonist)

Carl Rose
In 1944, Cerf published the first of his collection of joke books Try and Stop Me, with illustrations drawn by Carl Rose.
Rose illustrated Bennett Cerf's best-selling book Try and Stop Me and its sequel Shake Well Before Using.

Infamous (film)

InfamousInfamous'' (film)
In 2006, Peter Bogdanovich portrayed Cerf in the film Infamous.

Sylvia Sidney

Sylvia Sydney
Cerf married actress Sylvia Sidney on October 1, 1935; they divorced six months later on April 9, 1936.
She first married publisher Bennett Cerf on October 1, 1935, but the couple divorced six months later on April 9, 1936.

Jessica Mitford

JessicaJessica Lucy Mitford
Cerf was the subject of Jessica Mitford's exposé, published in the July 1970 issue of Atlantic Monthly, which denounced the business practices of the Famous Writers School which Cerf had founded.
In 1970, she published an article in the Atlantic Monthly, "Let Us Now Appraise Famous Writers", an exposé of the Famous Writers School, a correspondence course of questionable business practices founded by Bennett Cerf.

Mount Kisco, New York

Mount KiscoMt. Kisco, New YorkMt. Kisco
In the early 1950s, while maintaining a Manhattan residence, Bennett and Phyllis Cerf bought an estate at Mount Kisco, New York, which became his country home for the rest of his life.

Phyllis Fraser

Phyllis CerfPhyllis Cerf WagnerHelen Brown Nichols
He married Hollywood actress Phyllis Fraser, a cousin of Ginger Rogers, on September 17, 1940.
Soon after her arrival, she was introduced by The New Yorker editor Harold Ross to publishing magnate and Random House co-founder (and future What's My Line? panelist) Bennett Cerf, whom she married on September 17, 1940.

Ginger Rogers

RogersGingeractress of the same name
He married Hollywood actress Phyllis Fraser, a cousin of Ginger Rogers, on September 17, 1940.
Rogers maintained a close friendship with her cousin, writer/socialite Phyllis Fraser, wife of Random House publisher Bennett Cerf, but was not Rita Hayworth's natural cousin, as has been reported.

United States

AmericanU.S.USA
Bennett Alfred Cerf (May 25, 1898 – August 27, 1971) was an American publisher, one of the founders of American publishing firm Random House.

Pun

paronomasiapunningword play
Cerf was also known for his own compilations of jokes and puns, for regular personal appearances lecturing across the United States, and for his television appearances in the panel game show What's My Line?

American Jews

JewishJewish AmericanJewish-American
Bennett Cerf was born on May 25, 1898, in Manhattan, New York, to a Jewish family of Alsatian and German origin.