Cholly Knickerbocker, house pseudonym, owned by the Hearst newspaper chain, of a gossip columnist for the New York Journal-American, which was published from 1937 to 1966. The columns were distributed by King Features Syndicate.
Maury Paul was the first Journal-American journalist to write under the byline of Cholly Knickerbocker (1937–42), as society editor and writer of a syndicated daily gossip column. He chronicled the social life of the “Four Hundred”—members of the New York Social Register, a directory of the social elite, who were considered to be the traditional arbitrers of American society. He also wrote about “cafe society” (a phrase he coined), which consisted of people in the arts, politics, and business whom he designated as up-and-coming but who were not members of the social elite.
Society scribe Lucius Beebe and Maury Paul clubbing
Maury Paul was the first Journal-American journalist to write under the byline of Cholly Knickerbocker (1937–42), as society editor and writer of a syndicated daily gossip column. He chronicled the social life of the “Four Hundred”—members of the New York Social Register, a directory of the social elite, who were considered to be the traditional arbitrers of American society. He also wrote about “cafe society” (a phrase he coined), which consisted of people in the arts, politics, and business.
Maury Henry Biddle Paul ~ For over a quarter century was society editor of the New York Journal American, and colorful chronicler of New York Society's events and personalities, under the pen name of 'Cholly Knickerbocker'.
He was born in Philadelphia, the son of William Henry Paul and Eleanor Virginia Biddle. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he was graduated in 1914. That year he began newspaper work on the old Philadelphia Times, soon leaving it to become society editor of the New York Press. In 1917 he took over the Cholly Knickerbocker column in the New York American, which later merged with the Evening Journal. Mr. Paul was also the author of numerous articles about Society and its celebrities. He called many of the town's social leaders by their first names. Maury Paul invented the phrase, "Cafe Society" to describe the night club and restaurant crowd; also coining the expression, "Old Guard", which included members of the old New York families. Paul preferred to concern himself with the truly well born, or truly rich, and when he wrote about such people his thoughts flowed sweetly at the typewriter. He found no difficulty in dashing off three features every week for the Sunday section of the American. He would sparkle into print with an exclusive story, which was often!
His daily column and feature articles were syndicated to over sixty newspapers of the Hearst group throughout the country. Mr. Paul had the definite distinction as the inventor of a particularly flamboyant style of writing ~ the rich quotation marks, the meaningful dash, the mannered repetition and the allusive phrase!
A plump, airy sort of man, expensively dressed and deeply perfumed, who loved to talk about his clothes. He would gladly pull up a trouser leg to display his solid gold garter clasps engraved with all four of his initials; but about his cologne he was darkly secretive and would contentedly say, "I always smell to heaven!" His working clothes and his working badge ~ a dinner jacket with a red carnation in its lapel. He lived in a luxurious apartment, richly furnished with mirrors and murals, autographed pictures of social celebrities, and a leopard skin thow for his own bed, in which he was photographed receiving breakfast from his man-servant. He was a member of the Sons of the Revolution and the Society of the War of 1812.
He died of a heart ailment at his home, at 136 East 64th Street, at the age of fifty-two; he had been ill for several weeks. He was survived by his mother, with whom he shared his home. His funeral service was held at St. Bartholomews Church. The honorary pallbearers included William Randolph Hearst, Jr., James A. Farley, William Rhinelander Stewart, Winston Thomas, Richard Berlin, Lucius Boomer, Julius W. Noyes, Clifton Webb, Dwight Fiske, F. Frazier Jelke and William A. Curley.
Note: Eleanor Virginia Biddle Paul ( 1859 - 1956 ), Maury Paul's mother, is interred in the same vault at Woodlawn Park North Mausoleum.
Burial: Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and Mausoleum, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA. Plot: Mausoleum, Unit 3, Corridor 12, Section 20
Debutante: Rites and Regalia of American Debdom (Culture America) by Karal Ann Marling
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: University Press of Kansas; First edition (April 1, 2004)
Amazon: Debutante: Rites and Regalia of American Debdom
It is an institution that seems almost hopelessly out of date, a social relic of bygone times. The very word debutante evokes images of prim, poised beauty, expensive gowns, and sumptuous balls, all of which seem anachronistic in these post-women's liberation times. But as Karal Ann Marling reveals, debdom in America is alive and well and ever evolving.
For thousands of young women every year, the society debut remains a vital rite of passage, a demonstration of female power; debs continue to be viewed as the finest flowers of a distinctive American culture. The debut and its offshoots--the high school prom, the sorority presentation, assorted beauty pageants--continue to emphasize celebrity, class, and community. But why does this peculiar tradition persist? Marling has the answer, as she demystifies debdom and the long-term American hankering after the trappings of royalty.
Debutante presents a penetrating and entertaining look at American debdom from the colonial era to the present day. Debbing has always been a performance art, created by and for women. In its heyday in the nineteenth century, debut signified the formal presentation to elite society of a young woman of substance who was eligible for marriage. During the twentieth century, it evolved from the glamour girl galas of the Great Depression to the charity bashes of the 1980s after the Deb Drought of the '60s and '70s. Marling reviews this colorful history, documenting changes in debdom right up to our own day, when the sisterhood of debs includes African Americans, Latinas, and members of other ethnic groups once carefully excluded: now even economically disadvantaged young women have their coming-out, where the emphasis of the event is on community.
In these pages, aspiring debs and curious readers alike will be taken from teas and cotillions to café society and discover the rich material culture of debdom, with its flowers and favors, gowns and pearls. They'll also meet famous debs of the '30s like Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton and glamour girl Brenda Duff Frasier; experience black American high society at the debut of Nat King Cole's daughter Cookie; and attend such civic spectacles as Kansas City's Jewel Ball and St. Louis's Veiled Prophet Ball.
In sparkling prose graced by a gallery of captivating photos, Marling provides an illuminating inside look at debs and a world that continues to celebrate the spirit and diversity of American womanhood.
This book is part of the CultureAmerica series.
Dancing with the Devil: The Windsors and Jimmy Donahue by Christopher Wilson
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (February 20, 2002)
Amazon: Dancing with the Devil: The Windsors and Jimmy Donahue
The story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor is one of the most romantic of all time: Edward VIII abdicated his throne and gave up an empire so that he could marry the woman he loved, American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Very few people suspected, and even fewer actually knew, that the Duchess cuckolded him—and almost gave him up—for a gay playboy twenty years her junior.
Blond and slender, Jimmy Donahue was the archetypal post-war playboy. He could fly a plane, speak several languages, play the piano, and tell marvelous jokes. People loved him for his wit, charm and personality. The grandson of millionaire Frank W. Woolworth, Jimmy knew he would never need to work. Instead, he set about carving for himself a career of mischief. Some said evil.
Gay at a time when the homosexual act was still illegal, Jimmy was notorious within America’s upper class, and loved to shock. Though press agents arranged for him to be seen with female escorts, his pursuits, until he met the Duchess of Windsor, were exclusively homosexual. He was thirty-five when he was befriended by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1950. The Duchess was fifty-four, and despite the difference in age, there was an instant attraction. A burgeoning sexual relationship – a perverse sort of love – was formed between Jimmy and the Duchess. Together with the Duke, they became an inseparable trio, the closest of friends. As Jimmy had planned, the royal couple became obsessed with him.
With information from surviving contemporaries, Dancing with the Devil is the extraordinary tale of three remarkable people and their unique and twisted relationship.
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