Clifton Fadiman, Senior Editor

Clifton Fadiman

Clifton Fadiman

Clifton Fadiman was an enthusiastic proponent of Cricket from the beginning. Fadiman, who preferred to be known as “Kip”, was an editor, author, and celebrity who had hosted the Information, Please radio program and early television game shows. He served as Senior Editor of Cricket and worked with Marianne to solicit quality submissions, lending his extensive knowledge of authors in the United States and abroad. He also contributed the book review column "Cricket's Bookshelf".

Born in 1904 in Brooklyn, New York, Fadiman graduated from Columbia University in 1925 and taught English at Ethical Culture High School in the Bronx until 1927. He worked as an editor for Simon & Schuster for ten years, ultimately as chief editor. Among Fadiman's ideas for books was turning Robert Ripley's newspaper cartoon Believe it or Not! into book form. While at Simon & Schuster, Fadiman initiated the translation career of Whittaker Chambers by suggesting that he translate the Austrian story Bambi.

Fadiman reviewed books for The New Yorker from 1933 to 1943, and became a judge for the Book of the Month Club in 1944. While at the New Yorker, he became well-known on radio, hosting the popular quiz show Information, Please! from 1938 to 1948, before transitioning to television in 1949.

His longest-lasting television program This Is Show Business, combining musical entertainment and commentary, ran from 1949 to 1954 and became the first CBS series to be broadcast live coast-to-coast in 1951. In 1952, Information Please! was briefly revived as a summer replacement for the musical variety television program The Fred Waring Show. Known as a witty intellectual with encyclopedic knowledge, Fadiman also filled in for What's My Line? host John Charles Daly for two weeks in 1958.

In the 1960s, Blouke Carus engaged Fadiman on the Editorial Advisory Board of Open Court Textbooks before hiring him as Senior Editor of Cricket. Serving as a public spokesperson for Cricket, Fadiman backed the fledgling magazine with his celebrity and authority.

A prolific generalist, Fadiman authored books on diverse subjects and edited many anthologies and collections. In 1993 he received the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Even after he lost his eyesight in 1993, Fadiman continued to review manuscripts for the Book of the Month Club by listening to audio recordings and dictating his impressions. He died in 1999.

References

Carus, Marianne. 2003. Celebrate Cricket: 30 years of stories and art. Chicago: Cricket Books.

Cricket Media records, 1960-2018, Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center