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Brush with fame

New Yorker's Janet Flanner, Cameron Crowe, Osama Bin Laden's brother, Mark Twain's Daughter, Alan Arkin, John Steinbeck's son - their ties to San Diego

John Steinbeck, father of John Steinbeck IV.  "My brother and I, we talked with him a lot about things, languages and history and cultures and customs. We traveled around the world with him."
John Steinbeck, father of John Steinbeck IV. "My brother and I, we talked with him a lot about things, languages and history and cultures and customs. We traveled around the world with him."

For author celebrities, click here.

For thinker and artist celebrities, click here.

For public figure and fraud celebrities, click here.

For sports celebrities, click here.

"Janet Flanner and my mother dominated whatever room they were in. You wanted to be around them, because they were brilliant, funny talkers, and because they just exuded an aura of glamour and intellectual curiosity."


Janet, My Mother, and Me

A story about author William Murray's mother and Janet Flanner, who penned The New Yorker column "Letter from Paris" for 50 years.

“Everybody was drunk in the ’20s. They were always drinking and they were always out late in the speakeasies. Nobody stayed home; they were always at parties. Everybody was hung over in the morning."

By William Murray, Feb. 10, 2000 | Read the full story


What’s troublesome is Fast Times' use of El Cajon's Lester Bangs.

Third Spud from the Sun: Cameron Crowe Then and Now

Rock critic Richard Meltzer's Cameron Crowe dissection.

“A couple things about Cameron set him down a peg from even the rank and file of ’zine greenhorn dust-suckers. He for all intents & purps was not even a — how you say? — symbolically employed writer-in-training.”

By Richard Meltzer, Nov. 2, 2000 | Read the full story


Did Bin Laden's Brother Live a Secret Life in San Diego?

Investigative reporter Matt Potter reveals that one of the two partners in U.S. Denmar was Abdullah M. Binladen.

“What was Binladen, now 35, heir to a multibillion-dollar Middle Eastern fortune based on construction and Saudi oil, doing in San Diego? And why would he be involved in a small-time tulip-importing business — in a two-room office in a Sorrento Valley industrial park?”

By Matt Potter, October 25, 2001 | Read the full story


I Am Your Loving Daughter Clara Clemens

Mark Twain’s daughter in San Diego.

“The dark side of Mark Twain, much like the darkness of her marriage to Jacques, was something Clara refused to make public.”

By Thomas Larson, May 8, 2003 | Read the full story


Alan Arkin: “I didn’t want anyone to know who or what I really was. I never wanted to be typed as a brand-name.”

You Do Realize That You’re Alan Arkin?

Arkin's career sparked amid the dying embers of the studio system.

“Not every character he chose was a good fit as evidenced in Catch 22’s Yosarian. There is not a bad shot in the film. It’s handsomely staged, based on a best-seller with an all-star cast. Yet, as Duncan Shepherd, my Reader predecessor observed, ‘Once past Arkin, all subtlety stops.’”

By Scott Marks, September 24, 2014 | Read the full story


John Steinbeck, father of John Steinbeck IV. "My brother and I, we talked with him a lot about things, languages and history and cultures and customs. We traveled around the world with him."

John Steinbeck Was My Father

“He lived on the East Coast with the Ivy League literate crowd. But he never pretended to be an intellectual. He was a shy man, and I think it made him insecure and then furious. They were such snobs.”

By Judith Moore, Abe Opincar, and Bob Shanbrom, March 30, 1989 | Read the full story

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John Steinbeck, father of John Steinbeck IV.  "My brother and I, we talked with him a lot about things, languages and history and cultures and customs. We traveled around the world with him."
John Steinbeck, father of John Steinbeck IV. "My brother and I, we talked with him a lot about things, languages and history and cultures and customs. We traveled around the world with him."

For author celebrities, click here.

For thinker and artist celebrities, click here.

For public figure and fraud celebrities, click here.

For sports celebrities, click here.

"Janet Flanner and my mother dominated whatever room they were in. You wanted to be around them, because they were brilliant, funny talkers, and because they just exuded an aura of glamour and intellectual curiosity."


Janet, My Mother, and Me

A story about author William Murray's mother and Janet Flanner, who penned The New Yorker column "Letter from Paris" for 50 years.

“Everybody was drunk in the ’20s. They were always drinking and they were always out late in the speakeasies. Nobody stayed home; they were always at parties. Everybody was hung over in the morning."

By William Murray, Feb. 10, 2000 | Read the full story


What’s troublesome is Fast Times' use of El Cajon's Lester Bangs.

Third Spud from the Sun: Cameron Crowe Then and Now

Rock critic Richard Meltzer's Cameron Crowe dissection.

“A couple things about Cameron set him down a peg from even the rank and file of ’zine greenhorn dust-suckers. He for all intents & purps was not even a — how you say? — symbolically employed writer-in-training.”

By Richard Meltzer, Nov. 2, 2000 | Read the full story


Did Bin Laden's Brother Live a Secret Life in San Diego?

Investigative reporter Matt Potter reveals that one of the two partners in U.S. Denmar was Abdullah M. Binladen.

“What was Binladen, now 35, heir to a multibillion-dollar Middle Eastern fortune based on construction and Saudi oil, doing in San Diego? And why would he be involved in a small-time tulip-importing business — in a two-room office in a Sorrento Valley industrial park?”

By Matt Potter, October 25, 2001 | Read the full story


I Am Your Loving Daughter Clara Clemens

Mark Twain’s daughter in San Diego.

“The dark side of Mark Twain, much like the darkness of her marriage to Jacques, was something Clara refused to make public.”

By Thomas Larson, May 8, 2003 | Read the full story


Alan Arkin: “I didn’t want anyone to know who or what I really was. I never wanted to be typed as a brand-name.”

You Do Realize That You’re Alan Arkin?

Arkin's career sparked amid the dying embers of the studio system.

“Not every character he chose was a good fit as evidenced in Catch 22’s Yosarian. There is not a bad shot in the film. It’s handsomely staged, based on a best-seller with an all-star cast. Yet, as Duncan Shepherd, my Reader predecessor observed, ‘Once past Arkin, all subtlety stops.’”

By Scott Marks, September 24, 2014 | Read the full story


John Steinbeck, father of John Steinbeck IV. "My brother and I, we talked with him a lot about things, languages and history and cultures and customs. We traveled around the world with him."

John Steinbeck Was My Father

“He lived on the East Coast with the Ivy League literate crowd. But he never pretended to be an intellectual. He was a shy man, and I think it made him insecure and then furious. They were such snobs.”

By Judith Moore, Abe Opincar, and Bob Shanbrom, March 30, 1989 | Read the full story

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