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Stephen Kroninger
S. J. Perelman drawing
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Today marks the 103rd anniversary of the birth of S.J. Perelman. Although best known as the author of countless pieces for “The New Yorker” and for having co-scripted “Monkey Business” and “Horse Feathers” for the Marx Brothers, he began his life in the arts as a cartoonist. Above is an example of his handiwork. "I was born in New York in 1904 and reared in Rhode Island, where I attended Brown University. Simply stated, I became interested in the life creative because I was a comic artist at college. I was more interested in working for the college humor magazine, The Brown Jug, than I was in trigonometry and all those necessary adjuncts. Eventually, in my senior year, I became editor of the magazine and subsequently went professional in New York as a comic artist. This lasted for six or seven years, when I drifted into writing, principally because my cartoon captions became longer and longer and longer." S.J. Perelman 1967 (from "Conversations" by Roy Newquist) After he started working as a screenwriter for the Marx Brothers, he gave up his career as a cartoonist entirely. Many of his friends were professional artists, and over the years they tried to encourage him to resume his drawing. Some even presented him with drawing supplies, but he never bothered to use them. ("SJ Perelman, A Life" Dorothy Herrmann, Simon & Schuster 1986) For a more complete bio Dictionary of Literary Biography on S(idney) J(oseph) Perelman: http://www.bookrags.com/biography/sidney-joseph-perelman-dlb2/


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