Art Buchwald was born in Mt. Vernon, New York, and raised in Hollis in Queens, New York. He attended P.S. 35, Jamaica High School and Forest Hill High School. He never graduated. He ran away to join the Marines where he served honorably (so he claims) from 1942 to 1945 in the Pacific.
On return to civilian life, he enrolled at the University of Southern California even though he did not have a high school diploma. After three years he heard that he could go to Paris on the G.I. Bill of Rights. So he left USC and bought a one-way ticket to France.
While pretending to attend a French language school in Paris, Mr. Buchwald landed a job with Variety magazine. In January 1949, he took a trial column to the offices of the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune. Its title was "Paris After Dark." Mr. Buchwald sold the Tribune on the fact that he was qualified to write about the restaurants and nightlife of Paris because of his culinary experiences in the Marine Corps. No one checked his credentials and in time he was considered the best-fed newspaperman in Europe.
In 1952, The New York Herald Tribune in New York decided to syndicate the Buchwald column which by then encompassed Europe as well as Paris.
Although these columns dealt with another continent, they were very successful in the United States. Buchwald portrayed himself as the Charlie Chaplin of the international set. He was constantly being thrown out of parties and off yachts. He traveled to the Soviet Union in a chauffeur-driven limousine to let the Soviet people see what a capitalist really looked like.
He went to Africa to find a white hunter so that he could be considered a true-blue writer in a class with Hemingway.
In 1962, he decided to return to the United States to live in Washington, D.C. He is syndicated with the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and he continues to write for 550 newspapers from Seattle to Yokohama.
He has written 28 books-including, I Think I Don't Remember (Putnam 1987); Whose Rose Garden Is It Anyway? (Putnam 1989), and Lighten Up, George (Putnam 1991). He has also written a play, two children's books and a novel. his autobiography, Leaving Home, was published by Putnam in January, 1994. The second part of his memoirs, I'll Always Have Paris, recalling his 14 years in Europe, was published by G.P. Putnams in September 1996.
He was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for "Outstanding commentary" in 1982, and in 1986 was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
Buchwald is a workaholic and has no hobbies.
NOTE: This bio appeared in the October 4, 1997 program for our "Mood and Mental Health" Forum
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