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Monday, December 28, 2015

That helping hand holds a pen


“It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.’” – Sam Levenson

Born on this date in 1911, American humorist, writer, teacher, television host, and journalist Levenson was originally a Spanish teacher in Brooklyn, New York.  But, once he started writing humor pieces he was sought after as a columnist and that led to his stand-up comic routine.  He 
appeared a record 21 times on the Ed Sullivan Show 
and multiple times on The Tonight Show.

Once he got more into writing, he focused on nonfiction and wrote the bestsellers Everything But Money (1966), Sex and the Single Child (1969), In One Era And Out The Other (1973), and You Can Say That Again, Sam! (1975).

Poetry was another of his somewhat hidden talents and he is credited with authoring the well-known poem "Time Tested Beauty Tips,” the favorite of actress Audrey Hepburn, who has sometimes been falsely attributed as its author. Levenson, who adored children, said he was inspired to write the poem for his grandchildren and in memory of his parents.

He pointed out that while his parents were not wealthy, they cared about what their kids did and encouraged them to read, read, read.  “Any kid who has parents who are interested in him and has a houseful of books is never poor.”


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