Clifton Fadiman (1904 - 1999)
Clifton Fadiman was an intellectual, author, radio and television personality.
A native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Columbia University, Fadiman worked for
Simon & Schuster for ten years, ending as its chief editor. He spent another ten
years (1933-1943) in charge of The New Yorker's book review section and in 1944
became a judge for the Book of the Month Club. His eminently quotable witticisms
and sayings were frequently printed in newspapers and magazines: "when you
reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before, you see
more in you than there was before", was one of the better known.
Clifton Fadiman may be considered the prime example of the "witty intellectual"
type that was popular on television in the 1950s.
Fadiman was already well known from radio where, from May 1938 until June 1948,
he hosted its most popular quiz show, Information Please!, which he briefly
revived for CBS-TV in 1952 as a thirteen-week summer replacement for the musical
variety program The Fred Waring Show. During that June-September period, devoted
fans of the departed radio program could finally not only hear, but also see
Information Please! longtime panelists Franklin P. Adams and John Kieran who,
like Fadiman himself, were literary figures and intellectuals. In fact, with the
advent of TV, Fadiman gained in popularity, quickly establishing himself as the
all-purpose, highly knowledgeable guest and host. At ease in front of the TV
camera and experienced from his years in radio, he frequently appeared on talk
shows and hosted a number of upscale quiz programs.
His longest-lasting TV program was This Is Show Business, which ran on CBS from
July 15, 1949 to March 9, 1954. Called This Is Broadway during the first four
months of its run, the show mixed song, dance and other musical entertainment,
with information. In late September 1951, This Is Show Business became the first
regular CBS series to be televised live from coast to coast.
Fadiman's first marriage was to Elizabeth Rush, with whom he had a son, Jonathan
Rush. His second marriage was to Annalee Whitmore Jacoby, author and World War
II foreign correspondent for Time and Life, who later used the name Annalee
Jacoby Fadiman. Annalee died at age 85 due to suicide after suffering from
breast cancer and Parkinsons disease. They had a son, Kim, and a daughter, Anne.
Clifton Fadiman died in 1999 of pancreatic cancer on Sanibel Island, Florida at
the age of 95.