Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Happy birthday, Harold Ross.

New Yorker founder and Algonquin Round Table member Harold Ross was born today in 1892. He died in 1951. Ross first worked as a journalist at the Salt Lake City Tribune, Sacramento Union, and San Francisco's Call before enlisting and eventually working on Stars and Stripes during World War I. The New Yorker debuted in 1925, according to Ross, as "a reflection in word and picture of metropolitan life."

For more on Ross, read James Thurber's The Years with Ross (1959) or Thomas Kunkel's Letters from the Editor: The New Yorker's Harold Ross (2000).
Ross was apparently intensely devoted to a continuing department called "Are You a New Yorker?", a series of questions such as "Where is the morgue?" and "On what days is admission charged to the Bronx Zoo?" Clipped to this particular questionnaire was a tart note from a male subscriber which read, simply, "Who gives a damn?" — James Thurber, The Years with Ross (rpt. 2001, 25).


mybillcrider said...

I really liked The Years with Ross, but it's been many, many years since I read it.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Thanks, Bill. I plan to read more Thurber; he's delightful