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Robert Benchley (Robert Charles Benchley) Biography

(1889–1945), (Robert Charles Benchley), Vanity Fair, New Yorker, Of All Things!, Inside Benchley

appeared world yorker drama

American essayist, playwright, and reviewer, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, educated at Harvard. Benchley rose to a prominent position in the New York literary world by the end of the First World War; he was drama critic then managing editor of Vanity Fair, and a regular contributor to many New York journals including the New Yorker, of which he was a founder member and drama critic. With Dorothy Parker, Robert E. Sheridan, and others he established the influential Algonquin Hotel Round Table in 1920, which acted as a focal point for that group of brilliant young humorists which was to dominate the pages of the New Yorker for the next two decades. His essays and sketches first appeared in Of All Things! (1921), which was followed by another twelve collections in addition to several selections of his best writings, notably Inside Benchley (1942). He was also a minor actor and appeared in many films between 1928 and 1945. As an urbane and sophisticated humorist his influence has been acknowledged by E. B. White and James Thurber. Benchley: A Biography, by his brother, Nathaniel Benchley, appeared in 1955.

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