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Bennett Cerf (I) (1898–1971)

Best known as publisher and founder of Random House. Published many giants of 20th century American literature, including William Faulkner, James Michener, and Ayn Rand. Published James Joyce's Ulysses in the US after winning landmark Supreme Court obscenity case. Edited compilations of humor and joke books. Appeared regularly on "What's My Line?"... See full bio »

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Known For

What's My Line?
What's My Line? Himself - Panelist / Himself - Moderator
The Match Game
The Match Game Himself - Team Captain / Himself - Team Member
See What You Know
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson


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 1957 A Face in the Crowd
Bennett Cerf (uncredited)
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Show Show Self (23 credits)
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Personal Details

Other Works:

Author of "Bennett Cerf's Book of Laughs" (1959), "Bennett Cerf's Book of Riddles" (1960), "More Riddles"(1961), "Bennett Cerf's Book of Animal Riddles" (1964), "Bennett Cerf's Silliest Pop-up Riddles" (1967), & "Bennett Cerf's Pop-up Limericks" (1967).

Publicity Listings:

2 Print Biographies | 1 Portrayal | See more »


6' 1" (1.85 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on What's My Line?] I loved it from the start because, as I've told you again and again, I have a streak of pure ham in me and this appealed to every part of it. Within about six weeks, I was a national figure. As a publisher nobody knew who I was. How many people do you think look at the name on the spine of a book that has been published? They don't know whether a book's published by ... See more »


David Sarnoff, chairman of RCA when it owned NBC and Random House, urged Cerf to quit the CBS What's My Line? (1950) since it represented a conflict of interest. Cerf managed to change Sarnoff's mind, and continued to appear on the network show until its 1967 cancellation. See more »


Bennett Snerf

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