A. J. Liebling Quotes

Abbott Joseph “Joe” Liebling, 1904 – 1963

Born: 18 October 1904, New York City
Died: 28 December 1963, New York City

Liebling was raised in a wealthy family on Manhattan’s East Side on this day in 1904, his father was in the fur trade. He entered Dartmouth College in 1920 where he contributed to Jack-O-Lantern, the school’s humor magazine. He left without graduating, later claiming he was expelled for skipping compulsory chapel services. He got his degree at Columbia University’s School of Journalism and began his career at the Evening Bulletin, Providence, Rhode Island, then joined the sports desk at The New York Times where he was also sacked, allegedly for spoofing the names of referees, entering Ignato (Italian for “unknown”). After spending a year at Paris, where he paid little attention to his classes at the Sorbonne, he got a job at Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World (1930-31) and World Telegram (1931-35) until he joined The New Yorker in 1935. Other than his serving as a war correspondent (he was at the front several places, including during the Normandy invasion and the Allies’ arrival at Paris), Liebling was at The New Yorker until his death. He covered boxing, horse racing, and food, but is best known for his criticism of the news media.

A. J. Liebling quotes:

An Englishman teaching an American about food is like the blind leading the one-eyed.
    A. J. Liebling

An Englishman teaching an American about food is like the blind leading the one-eyed.
    A. J. Liebling

Chicago seems a big city instead of merely a large place.
    A. J. Liebling

Curiosity is the key to creativity.
    A. J. Liebling

For the first time in my life and probably the last, I have lived for a week in a great city where everybody was happy.
    A. J. Liebling – after Allies freed Paris (1944)

Forget that New Orleans is actually a little like the Combat Zone with French cooking, it still happens to be part of the great state of Louisiana where people play the political game the same way it’s played in Lebanon. The place is one layer after another of tribes, factions and at least a million laughs.
    A. J. Liebling

Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.
    A. J. Liebling – The New Yorker (14 May 1960)

I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.
    A. J. Liebling

I had an attack of the gout two days before pulling out, and I went limping off to the war instead of coming limping back from it.
    A. J. Liebling – in his first World War II dispatch

I take a grave view of the plight of the press. It is the weak slat under the bed of democracy.
    A. J. Liebling

I used to be shy about ordering a steak after I had eaten a steak sandwich, but I got used to it.
    A. J. Liebling

If you just try long enough and hard enough, you can always manage to boot yourself in the posterior.
    A. J. Liebling

If you just try long enough and hard enough, you can always manage to boot yourself in the posterior.
    A. J. Liebling

Inconsiderate to the last, Josef Stalin, a man who never had to meet a deadline, had the bad taste to die in installments.
    A. J. Liebling – The New Yorker (28 March 1953)

Last week, I had to offer my publisher a bottle that was far too good for him, simply because there was nothing between the insulting and the superlative.
    A. J. Liebling – Between Meals (1962)

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