Stories My Father Told Me
Notes from "The Lyons Den"
Publication Date: June 2011
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This amazing collection of choice anecdotes takes us right back to the Golden Age of New York City nightlife, when top restaurants like Toots Shor’s, 21,” and Sardi’s, as well as glittering nightclubs like the Stork Club, Latin Quarter, and El Morocco, were the nightly gathering spots for great figures of that era: movie and Broadway stars, baseball players, champion boxers, comedians, diplomats, British royalty, prize-winning authors, and famous painters. From Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill, from Ethel Barrymore to Sophia Loren, from George Burns to Ernest Hemingway, from Joe DiMaggio to the Duke of Windsor: Leonard Lyons knew them all. For forty glorious years, from 1934 to 1974, he made the daily rounds of Gotham nightspots, collecting the exclusive scoops and revelations that were at the core of his famous newspaper column, The Lyons Den.”
In this entertaining volume Jeffrey Lyons has assembled a considerable compilation of anecdotes from his father’s best columns, and has also contributed a selection of his own interviews with stars of today, including Penélope Cruz and George Clooney, among others. Organized chronologically by decade and subdivided by celebrity, Stories My Father Told Me offers fascinating, amusing stories that are illustrated by approximately seventy photographs. He so captured the tenor of those exciting times that the great Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg said: Imagine how much richer American history would have been had there been a Leonard Lyons in Lincoln’s time.”
Jeffrey Lyons grew up in a home visited by many of the greats of his father’s time. His forty-year career continues in television, radio, and print. A movie critic and baseball book author, Lyons has acted in two films, reviewed more than 15,000 movies and hundreds of Broadway plays, broadcast baseball for the Red Sox, and interviewed virtually every major star of his own time. Lyons co-hosted three national movie review shows: Sneak Previews, MSNBC's At the Movies, and Reel Talk. Jeffrey Lyons is also the co-author of 101 Great Movies for Kids and three baseball trivia books. He hopes to see his beloved Red Sox win another World Series. Soon.
Charles Osgood, often referred to as CBS News's poet-in-residence, has been anchor of CBS News Sunday Morning since 1994. He also anchors and writes "The Osgood File," his daily news commentary broadcast on the CBS Radio Network.
These stories are wonderful! I saw Leonard Lyons on a lot of nights out in Manhattan and if he told these stories, they're true!”Kirk Douglas
Leonard Lyons genuinely admired the people he wrote about. And knowing this, they would open up to him and tell him the colorful stories that were his bread and butter, and that the readers loved.” Charles Osgood, from the Foreword
No one did more to promote New York’s deserved reputation as a capital of glamour and culture...a century after his birth, the legacy of Leonard Lyons lives on. The names on the marquee may have changed, but the memory of Leonard Lyons remains a guiding light in New York City’s cultural community.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
For four decades The Lyons Den’ was an institution and will be invaluable to historians seeking behind-the-scenes glimpses of that long era.” Clyde Haberman, formerly of the New York Post (1976 tribute)
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