Dorothy Parker working at her typewriter.

Dorothy Parker

(1893 - 1967)

After succeeding P.G. Wodehouse as Vanity Fair’s drama critic in 1918, Parker was fired for her caustic tone in 1920, around the time she became the only female founding member of the Algonquin Round Table. She contributed short stories and book reviews to The New Yorker in the 1920s and ’30s and became a successful screenwriter, receiving, along with her husband Alan Campbell, an Academy Award nomination for A Star Is Born in 1937. When told that former president Calvin Coolidge had died, the notorious wit asked, “How can they tell?” Fond of animals, she owned at various times a parakeet named Onan, a dog named Woodrow Wilson, and two unnamed baby alligators she sequestered in her bathtub.

All Writing

Charity is murder and you know it.

—Dorothy Parker, 1956

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

—Dorothy Parker

Miscellany

Dorothy Parker was once asked to use the word horticulture in a sentence. “You can lead a horticulture,” she replied, “but you can’t make her think.”

Issues Contributed