Friday, July 25, 2008

Charles Van Doren

The July 28 New Yorker has a long piece by Charles Van Doren, "All the Answers," about the quiz show scandal that unfolded in the late 1950s and life thereafter:

For fourteen weeks in the winter and spring of 1956–57, I came into millions of American homes, stood in a supposedly soundproof booth, and answered difficult questions. I was considered well spoken, well educated, handsome, the very image of a young man that parents would like their son to be. I was also thought to be the ideal teacher, which is to say patient, trustworthy, caring. In addition, I was making a small fortune. And then — well, this is what happened.
Van Doren took his lumps — he was fired from NBC, resigned from Columbia University, and pleaded guilty to perjury — and went on to make a life for himself and his family. In the early 1990s, he turned down a $100,000 fee to serve as a consultant to the film Quiz Show. Along the way, a little gyroscope helped him "survive and somehow find a way back."

No link: this piece is available only in the magazine.

[Update, July 29: As a reader points out, this piece is now online.]

Related post
Words from Charles Van Doren

comments: 2

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the previously mentioned piece:

Michael Leddy said...

Thanks for the link, Anon; I'll add it to the post. I'm glad that the New Yorker decided to put this piece online.