Born into an old New England family, Clegg grew up in Rhode Island, and during his early years developed strong interests in railroads, electronics, and photography. In 1940, Clegg met Beebe while both were house guests at the Washington, D.C. home of Evalyn Walsh McLean. The two soon became inseparable, developing a personal and professional relationship that continued for the rest of Beebe's life. By the standards of the era, the homosexual relationship Beebe and Clegg shared was relatively open and well-known.
The pair initially lived in New York City, where Beebe was a columnist for the New York Herald Tribune and both men were prominent in café society circles. Eventually tiring of that social life, the two moved in 1950 to Virginia City, Nevada, a tiny community that had once been a fabled mining boomtown. There, they reactivated and began publishing the Territorial Enterprise, a fabled 19th century newspaper that had once been the employer of Mark Twain. Beebe and Clegg shared a renovated mansion in the town, and also owned a private railroad car, redone in a Victorian Baroque style. The pair traveled extensively, and remained prominent in social circles.
Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg aboard the Virginia & Truckee car "The Virginia City" being served by steward Clarence Watkins. (http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/carson
Charles Clegg (1916-1979) was an American author, photographer, and railroad historian. Clegg is primarily remembered as the lifelong companion of famed railroad author Lucius Beebe (1902-1966), and was a co-author of many of Beebe's best-known books. They met in 1940 and continued the writing, photography, and travel that had marked their lives until Beebe's death from a heart attack in 1966. Clegg committed suicide in 1979, on the day that he reached the precise age at which Beebe had died.
Clegg and Beebe sold the Territorial Enterprise in 1961, and purchased a home in suburban San Francisco. They continued the writing, photography, and travel that had marked their lives until Beebe's death from a heart attack in 1966. Clegg committed suicide in 1979, on the day that he reached the precise age at which Beebe had died.
Beebe authored over thirty-five books during his lifetime, approximately half of which were in collaboration with Clegg. It is likely that Clegg's contributions were primarily photographic in nature; his images were known for an expressive quality that helped broaden the artistic scope of railroad photography. The library of photographs produced by Clegg and Beebe are now in the collections of the California State Railroad Museum.
Jerome Zerbe (July 24, 1904, Euclid, Ohio – August 19, 1988) was an American photographer. He was one of the originators of a genre of photography that is now utterly common: celebrity paparazzi. Zerbe was a pioneer in the 1930s of shooting photographs of the famous at play and on-the-town. According to the 1951 cocktail recipe book Bottoms Up, he is also credited with inventing the vodka martini. In the 1930s, Zerbe was the partner of the society columnist and writer Lucius Beebe. Beebe made so many flattering references to Zerbe in his newspaper column, "This New York," that rival columnist Walter Winchell suggested that Zerbe should change the name to "Jerome Never Looked Lovelier." In 1940 Beebe met Charles Clegg, and the relationship with Zerbe faded. (Picture: Jerome Zerbe, Date taken: January 1948, Photographer: Ralph Morse for Life)
Zerbe differed from the common paparazzo in a major way: he never hid in bushes or jumped out and surprised the rich and famous that he was photographing. Zerbe often traveled and vacationed with the film stars themselves. As one biographer stated, he never rode in a rented limousine and his coat pocket always had an engraved invitation to the high-society events.
“Once I asked Katharine Hepburn to come up from her place at Fenwick, a few miles away, and pose for some fashion photos for me,” Zerbe recalled in his book Happy Times. “She arrived with a picnic hamper full of food and wine for the two of us. I snapped her just as she came to the door.”
In a career that spanned more than fifty years, Zerbe’s library held well over 50,000 photos.
Columnist Cholly Knickerbocker (L) sitting at a table with Lucius Beebe (R) and Jerome Zerbe (2L). (Photo by Ralph Morse//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
Jerome Zerbe was an American photographer. Zerbe was a pioneer in the 1930s of shooting photographs of the famous at play and on-the-town. In the 1930s, Zerbe was the partner of the society columnist Lucius Beebe. Beebe made so many flattering references to Zerbe in his newspaper column, "This New York," that rival columnist Walter Winchell suggested that Zerbe should change the name to "Jerome Never Looked Lovelier." In 1940 Beebe met Charles Clegg, and the relationship with Zerbe faded.
08 Nov 1938, Los Angeles, California, USA —- Lily Pons, singing star; Howard Hughes, noted flyer, and Lucius Beebe (left to right) at the cocktail party given by Miss Pons at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Some of his well-known images were of Greta Garbo at lunch, Cary Grant helping columnist Hedda Hopper move into her new home, Steve Reeves shaving, Moss Hart climbing a tree, Howard Hughes having lunch at “21” with Janet Gaynor, Ginger Rogers flying first-class, plus legendary stars Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, Salvador Dalí, Jean Harlow, Dorothy Parker, Gene Tunney, Thomas Wolfe and the Vanderbilts.
Zerbe claimed to be the first – and only – society photographer. He was for years the official photographer of Manhattan’s famed nightspot El Morocco, the place to be and be seen, whether you were Humphrey Bogart, Ed Sullivan or John O'Hara. Zerbe pioneered the business arrangement of getting paid by the nightclub to photograph its visitors, then turn around and give the photos away to the gossip pages. Today the practice is a common public relations stunt.
The photographer was born in Euclid, Ohio, on July 24, 1904. His father, Jerome B. Zerbe, was the president of a coal company and a prominent citizen in nearby Cleveland, where the family later resided. Young Jerry Zerbe was driven to public school in the family limousine, which got him beaten up by bullies. He managed to survive well enough to be sent East, to the prestigious Salisbury School in Salisbury, Connecticut. It was there that he took an interest in drawing, art and photography.
Zerbe graduated from Yale in 1928. While an undergrad, Zerbe had a knack for getting around the Prohibition laws, and always being the guy who knew where the booze and parties were. This paid off and he became a supreme social networker. He gained important social prominence in New Haven, which would serve him well in New York, Paris and London.
After graduation he went out to Hollywood to try his hand at drawing portraits of the famous residents. He was befriended by a young Gary Cooper. This led to quickly becoming friends with Hedda Hopper, Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Randolph Scott, Marion Davies and Paulette Goddard. It did not take long for him to put down his paintbrush and pick up a camera. He photographed numerous stars in Hollywood’s Golden Age and some of the hopefuls, before they became known posed for him with few if any clothes.
During the Depression, Zerbe landed his first major job, as art director of Parade, which was headquartered in his hometown, Cleveland. This was where he began his career of setting up portraits of the upper crust. He persuaded the wealthy local residents that it would help them to be photographed at their parties, which was simply not done at the time. He convinced them that it would assist the charity balls and fundraisers the leading society matrons were hosting. This paid off. He shot hundreds of debutantes, brides, newlyweds and formal dinners in North America and Europe.
Soon after, Harry Bull, the editor of Town & Country in New York, saw some of Zerbe’s society photos from Cleveland. He made him an offer to photograph ritzy parties in the Midwest. This led to his photos getting a wide audience, and offers of work from the capital of glitz -- Manhattan.
When Zerbe arrived in New York, he was in the right place at the right time. Prohibition had just ended and the nightlife was booming. The city had seven daily newspapers and three press associations. They all needed society photographs. Zerbe got himself hired by the Rainbow Room – on the 65th Floor of 30 Rockefeller Center – to set up fashionable dinner parties and photograph the guests. Zerbe was shocked that at the height of the Depression, unemployed readers craved to look at photos of high society types dressed in evening clothes and drinking champagne.
Around 1934 Zerbe was in business in Manhattan. He was the staff photographer for both the Rainbow Room and a bustling nightclub, El Morocco. Zerbe said that from 1933 to 1938 he spent most nights from nine p.m. to four a.m. at El Morocco eating, drinking and taking pictures. Many considered El Morocco the classiest nightclub in town, and looked down upon the Stork Club regulars as "tacky". El Morocco was the place to be seen – particularly if you just came from a Broadway show. There is one way to tell a Zerbe photo of El Morocco: the distinctive background. The club had imitation zebra skin fabric coverings on all banquettes and couches; the walls looked like a zebra-stripes jungle. With the striped black-and-white background, it was obvious to anyone looking at it -- without reading a caption -- that it was taken in El Morocco.
World War II prompted Zerbe to enlist in the Navy. He was able to bring his camera, and became the official photographer for Admiral Nimitz. He found a way to travel with the stars that flew overseas to entertain the troops.
After the war, Zerbe took up photographing Café Society with gusto. He was a charming man who was able to rub shoulders with dukes, duchesses, visiting dignitaries, as well as John Hay Whitney, Cornelius Vanderbilt IV, and scores of others. He traveled to France to photograph estates and country homes – and the residents as well.
In the 1940s, Zerbe worked for the Hearst newspaper chain, and wrote a Sunday column for the Sunday Mirror for more than ten years. From 1949 to 1974 he was the society editor for Town & Country. He traveled around the globe photographing big celebrity events.
Zerbe had several “coffee table” photo books published. Among them was People on Parade (1934), El Morocco Family Album (1937), The Art of Social Climbing (1965), and with Brendan Gill of The New Yorker, he published his greatest collection, Happy Times, in 1973.
He died August 19, 1988, at his Sutton Place apartment in Manhattan. He was 85.
Today, little is known about Zerbe's vast collection of photographs, which a biographer estimated had 50,000 images in 150 scrapbooks. They are part of an extensive private photography archive that is owned by collector Frederick R. Koch, the eldest son of industrialist Fred C. Koch.
Lucius Morris Beebe (December 9, 1902 – February 4, 1966) was an American author, gourmand, photographer, railroad historian, journalist, and syndicated columnist.
Beebe was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts, to a prominent Boston family. Beebe attended both Harvard University and Yale University, where he contributed to campus humor magazine The Yale Record. During his tenure at boarding school and university, Beebe was known for his numerous pranks. One of his more outrageous stunts included an attempt at festooning J. P. Morgan's yacht Corsair with toilet paper from a chartered airplane. His pranks were not without consequence and he proudly noted that he had the sole distinction of having been expelled from both Harvard and Yale, at the insistence, respectively, of the president and dean of each. Beebe earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard in 1926, only to be expelled during graduate school.
During and immediately after obtaining his degree from Harvard, Beebe published several books of poetry, but eventually found his true calling in journalism. He worked as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune, the San Francisco Examiner, the Boston Telegram, and the Boston Evening Transcript and was a contributing writer to many magazines such as Gourmet, The New Yorker, Town and Country, Holiday, American Heritage, and Playboy. Beebe re-launched Nevada's first newspaper, the Territorial Enterprise, in 1952. (P: Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg)
Beebe wrote a syndicated column for the New York Herald Tribune from the 1930s through 1944 called This New York. The column chronicled the doings of fashionable society at such storied restaurants and nightclubs as El Morocco, the 21 Club, the Stork Club, and The Colony. Mr. Beebe is credited with popularizing the term "cafe society" which was used to describe the people mentioned in his column.
The caption from the dust cover of Hear the Train Blow says Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg purchased a private car on the Virginia and Truckee, intimating the authors are on it. In the lower right, however, are what appear to be the Cumbres Pass snowsheds. Yard scuttlebutt in Durango in the late 1950s was that Messers Beebe and Clegg owned (or leased) the green private car Nomad. As V&T had no snowsheds and Rio Grande Southern was already gone, it makes sense if the Durango yard rumors were true that the authors would be at Cumbres on a beautiful summer day, preparing for the publicity tour of a new book. (http://www.heavenr.com/railroad/biblio.h
Lucius Beebe (r), with Charles Clegg at their home office while publishing the Territorial Enterprise newspaper, Virginia City, Nevada
Many twentieth-century writers and artists found Virginia City a pleasant refuge. An August 1949 book signing in the Delta Saloon featured, left to right, Duncan Emrich, Walter Van Tilburg Clark (kneeling), Roger Butterfield, Irene Bruce, Charles Clegg, Marian Emrich, and Lucius Beebe. Courtesy of Don McBride and the Bucket of Blood Saloon. (http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/luc
In 1950, Beebe and his long-time friend and partner, photographer Charles Clegg, moved to Virginia City, Nevada, where they purchased and restored the Piper family home and later purchased the dormant Territorial Enterprise newspaper. The newspaper was relaunched in 1952 and by 1954 had achieved the highest circulation in the West for a weekly newspaper. He and Clegg co-wrote the "That Was the West" series of historical essays for the newspaper.
In 1960 Beebe began work with the San Francisco Chronicle where he wrote a syndicated column, This Wild West. During the six years that he wrote the column, Beebe covered such topics as economics, politics, journalism, religion, history, morals, justice, finance, and travel.
Beebe was a noted gourmand. He had his own column "Along the Boulevard," in Gourmet, and wrote extensively for Holiday and Playboy about restaurants and dining experiences around the world. Some of the restaurants he covered include The Colony, The Stork Club, The Pump Room, the 21 Club, Simpson's-in-the-Strand, and Chasen's. A noted wine aficinado, he was a member of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.
In addition to his work as a journalist, Beebe wrote over 35 books. His books dealt primarily with railroading and café society. He was the first writer to use a painting by Howard L. Fogg, noted railroad artist, on the cover of a book. Many of his railroad books were written with his longtime companion Charles Clegg.
Beebe was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1992.
Along with Clegg, Beebe owned two private railcars, the Gold Coast and The Virginia City. The Gold Coast, Georgia Northern / Central of Georgia No. 100, was built in 1905 and is now at the California State Railroad Museum. After Beebe and Clegg purchased The Virginia City they had it refurbished and redecorated by famed Hollywood set designer Robert T. Hanley in a style known as Venetian Renaissance Baroque. Beebe in the Virginia City The Virginia City has been restored and currently operates as an excursion car.
Beebe was also a noted partisan of the Cunard Line and passenger liner travel in general. He wrote several articles about trans-Atlantic passage on Cunard ships during the "Golden Era" of the 20's, 30's and 40's.
A noted boulevardier, Beebe had an impressive and baroque wardrobe. Beebe's clothing included 40 suits, at least two mink-lined overcoats, numerous top hats and bowlers, a collection of doeskin gloves, walking sticks and a substantial gold nugget watch chain. Columnist Walter Winchell referred to Beebe and his wardrobe as "Luscious Lucius." Beebe's sartorial splendor was recognized when he appeared in full formal day attire on the cover of Life over the title of "Lucius Beebe Sets a Style."
Many of Beebe's articles and columns addressed men's traditional fashion. He was especially fond of English bespoke tailoring and shoes and wrote glowing articles about noted court tailor Henry Poole and Company and noted bootmaker John Lobb, whom he patronized on a regular basis. He also liked ties, particularly from Charvet in Paris, men's hats and wrote of the history of the bowler hat.
In 1940, Beebe met Charles Clegg while both were houseguests at the Washington, D.C. home of Evalyn Walsh McLean. The two soon developed a personal and professional relationship that continued for the rest of Beebe's life. By the standards of the era, the homosexual relationship Beebe and Clegg shared was relatively open and well-known. Previously, Beebe had been involved with society photographer Jerome Zerbe.
The pair initially lived in New York City, where both men were prominent in café society circles. Eventually tiring of that social life, the two moved in 1950 to Virginia City, Nevada, a tiny community that had once been a fabled mining boomtown. There, they reactivated and began publishing the Territorial Enterprise, a fabled 19th century newspaper that had once been the employer of Mark Twain. Beebe and Clegg shared a renovated mansion in the town, traveled extensively, and remained prominent in social circles.
Beebe was a community activist while living in Nevada. He was appointed by Nevada's governor to be a member of the Nevada State Centennial Committee (1958) and was Chairman of the Silver Centennial Monument Committee, groups that planned events honoring Nevada's and Virginia City's history. Through their efforts, the federal government commissioned a commemorative stamp in recognition of the discovery of the Comstock Lode in the Virginia City region.
Clegg and Beebe sold the Territorial Enterprise in 1961 and purchased a home in suburban San Francisco. They continued the writing, photography, and travel that had marked their lives until Beebe's death. Beebe died at the age of 63 of a sudden heart attack at his winter home in Hillsborough, California (near San Francisco) on Friday, February 4, 1966. A memorial service was held three days later, on Monday, February 7, at 11:00 a.m. at Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street in Boston. His ashes, reportedly along with those of two of his dogs, were returned to Massachusetts and are buried in Lakeside Cemetery on North Avenue in his hometown of Wakefield, in one of the Beebe family plots, at the extreme north end of the cemetery.
Clegg committed suicide in 1979, at the same age that Beebe had reached when he died.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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