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Among the Literati

April 8, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Young Mark Hellinger, whose column in the New York Mirror is read with great delight by those whose digestive tract is indestructible, was not so very many years ago just another one of the Jewish boys at Commerce High School. Since then he has come a long way financially by the simple formula of weeping daily over the vicissitudes in the life of chorus girls and other glittering personalities.

His latest venture is a full sized book which Farrar & Rinehart will publish in May. It is to be called “The Ten Million.” It is perhaps presumptuous to criticize the volume before having read it but you can be sure it will be interesting, colorful, moving and entirely unimportant.

Of more interest is Mr. Hellinger’s remarks about himself which will appear in his introduction in the following words:

“I am what is technically known as a Broadway columnist. That is to say, I write occasionally of Broadway and its people. Yet, I differ materially from the nine or ten thousand other Broadway columnists who spread their daily junk throughout the land. Most of my columns tell one complete tale. I will not go in for gossip; and I very rarely mention real names. Many of my efforts have nothing to do with Broadway. In other words, I am more of a short story writer than I am a Broadway columnist.

“I entered the Broadway scene just about the time that the Noble Experiment became an established fact. By a series of fortunate breaks, none of which I had much to do with, I managed to connect as Broadway reporter with the New York Daily News. In 1925, when the editors figured that I had outlived my usefulness, they made me a Broadway columnist. Overnight, then, I suddenly became important. Important, that is, in the eyes of other people. I had two columns of space to fill daily on the paper with the largest circulation in America. I could use names. I could hurt. I could help. I could unmake heroes, and make heroines.

“The change was extraordinary. I found chorines putting their hands on my arm, instead of in my pockets. Broadwayites called me with stories, instead of my calling them. I was surrounded by dimmer lights, shining lights and Israelites. For I was important now. I was a Broadway columnist–the one mug who got the break.

“And here I am today, writing a column that is syndicated from coast to coast and read daily by several million people who enjoy seeing the English language mangled.”

P.S.–No further comment is necessary.


The complete cast of “Wife Insurance,” the Frederick Jackson comedy which Arthur J. Beckhard is staging for Langdon Productions, Inc., is composed of Kenneth MacKenna, Ilka Chase, Harvey Stephens, Walter Abel, Lillian Emerson and Helen Huberth.

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