Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #57

E.B. White (1899 – 1985)

57 E. B. White

Though best known as a children’s novelist and co-author of Elements of Style, Elwyn Brooks White made his most important mark on the city with his six decades of contribution to the magazine, The New Yorker. His brilliant book length essay, Here Is New York, maintains a crucial spot on the shelf of any urban historian or culturalist nearly 70 years after its initial publication. Eerily prescient in some cases, gloriously patriotic in others, the essay is filled with perspectives on the city from the points of view of the native, the commuter, and the settler. Over the course of his life, White had filled the shoes of all three. Also influential in his progeny, White married his editor, Katharine Angell, and their son, Roger Angell, continued in his parents’ tradition. He spent years as fiction editor at The New Yorker and may be even more famous as the magazine’s baseball writer.

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1 Comment

  1. EB White, in addition to writing the aforementioned children’s classics of course wrote the book that was the germ of my fascination with New York City. Mr. White and his wife lived in Turtle Bay Gardens but they were living in Brooklyn, Maine when he tackled the assignment for Holiday magazine.
    During his years at the New Yorker he also contributed humor pieces – the current New Yorker humor anthology uses a part of a White humor article Duck in Fierce Pajamas – the anthology is titled “Fierce Pajamas” and a shot at a lesser Hemingway novel – White’s title: Across the Street and Into the Grill is in the collection as well.

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