June 29, 2024


A look at the New Yorker profile of our founder, Fred French, which ran in the June 1, 1929 issue. It was written by Robert M. Coates, a longtime contributor to the magazine, who was kind to French, presenting his tangled up life in a rather straightforward way.

A few (among many) notable passages from the article:

On his appearance: "His mouth is firm, stiff-cornered; he has a quick eye, blue and glinting, and above the eyes the brow rises to the high domed head, pinkly bald and gleaming in the soft glow of the indirect lighting."

On his success: "Work is the secret of success. At the age of thirty-five, he wrote in his diary, 'Still working like H___!' and in his talks he preaches the same gospel. 'It is to hard, persistent effort that I attribute whatever success I may have attained.'"

On his personal tastes: "He has a taste for elegance; he likes rich eating, yet many of his tastes are simple and his personal fortune is said to be small. He rarely goes to the theater, because he won't pay scalpers' rates, and he won't own a car, because the garagemen might cheat him."
On his gods: "Mr. French, since youth, has cherished an admiration for Roosevelt. His idea of a vacation is a hunting trip to the North Woods; when he set out for Alaska he went fully accoutered, his rifle and hunting clothes identical with Teddy's."


  1. AnonymousJuly 01, 2024

    Thank you for posting this.

  2. AnonymousJuly 01, 2024

    Yes, many thanks for shedding light on our little corner of Manhattan.