Facts about Clifton Fadiman

Clifton Fadiman died at 97 years old
Born: May 15, 1902
Best known as: Host of the radio quiz show Information Please

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Clifton Fadiman Biography

Clifton Fadiman was a multi-talented writer, critic, raconteur and bookworm. He is best remembered as moderator of the erudite radio quiz show Information, Please, which ran from 1938 until 1952. (Fadiman and a celebrity panel fielded questions from home listeners; questioners who stumped the panel received a free set of encyclopedias.) The show was a big hit and made Fadiman the Alex Trebek of his era, but it was only a small part of Fadiman’s life. He was especially adept at bringing great literature to the masses: he spent a decade as book editor of The New Yorker (1933-43), served for five decades as an editor and judge for the Book of the Month Club, and co-wrote The Lifetime Reading Plan (1960), a guide to great books for the common reader. He also edited many anthologies and collections, including Fantasia Mathematica (1958), The World Treasury of Children’s Literature (1984) and The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes (1985). In 1993 he received the National Book Foundation medal for distinguished contribution to American letters.

Extra credit

Fadiman’s nickname was Kip… Fadiman graduated from Columbia University in 1925… In the 1970s he was a founding editor of the children’s magazine Cricket… Fadiman’s second wife was Annalee Jacoby, co-author with Theodore White of the 1946 book Thunder Out of China… Their daughter, Anne Fadiman, is the author of the 1997 book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall DownInformation Please spawned a popular written almanac by the same name, later incarnated on the web as the Infoplease website. The radio show was created by producer Dan Golenpaul, who also edited early editions of the almanac.


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