Franklin Pierce Adams
(November 15, 1881, Chicago, Illinois
– March 23, 1960, New York City, New York
) was an American columnist
, well known by his initials F.P.A.
, and wit, best known for his newspaper column, "The Conning Tower", and his appearances as a regular panelist on radio's Information Please
. A prolific writer of light verse, he was a member of the Algonquin Round Table
of the 1920s and 1930s.
New York newspaper columnist
Adams was born Franklin Leopold Adams to Moses and Clara Schlossberg Adams in Chicago on November 15, 1881. He changed his middle name to "Pierce" when he was confirmed at age 13.Ashley, Sally. F.P.A.: The Life and Times of Franklin Pierce Adams
. Beaufort, 1986. p. 25. Adams graduated from the Armour Scientific Academy in 1899, attended the University of Michigan
for one year and worked in insurance for three years.Signing on with the Chicago Journal
in 1903, he wrote a weather column and then a humor column, "A Little about Everything". The following year he moved to the New York Evening Mail
, where he worked from 1904 to 1913 and began his column, then called "Always in Good Humor", which used reader contributions.
During his time on the Evening Mail,
Adams wrote what remains his best known work, the poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon
, a tribute to the Chicago Cubs double play
combination of "Tinker
". In 1911, he added a second column, a parody of Samuel... Read More