I can’t remember his name

E. J. Kahn Jr.
Photo: Otto Mayer

E. J. Kahn Jr. began to write for The New Yorker in 1937, launching a career that would span decades and establish him as an influential figure in American journalism. Born on December 4, 1916, he was the son of renowned architect Ely Jacques Kahn, and in addition to his work at the magazine he authored twenty-seven books on a range of subjects. When he wrote the following journal entry in 1987, Kahn was seventy years of age and as sharp as he’d ever been. He died seven years later.

The Diary Entry

14 October 1987

There was a piece in the Times yesterday about a chap who teaches CEOs and others how to remember. He himself once purportedly remembered the names of all 644 people in a room (sounds more like a convention hall), and he can memorize Time or Newsweek in an hour. I would like to get hold of him, for a lesson or two, but the paper got thrown out and I can’t remember his name.

Further Reading

Alfred Kahn published to volumes of journals. The first, titled The New Yorker and Me, was published in 1979; the second, Year of Change: More about the New Yorker and Me, arrived in 1988. Both volumes are witty, incisive, and brimming with anecdotes that paint a warm picture of life at one of America’s most iconic magazines.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *