Alistair Cooke


Alistair Cooke Trivia


  • Trivia

    • Cooke lived in a rent controlled apartment in Manhattan for more than 50 years.

    • Cooke: In America the race is on between its decadence and its vitality, and it has lots of both.

    • He presented his Letter from America series on BBC radio for 58 years and 2,869 instalments between 1946 and 2004, making it the longest-running series in history to be presented by a single person.

    • When Cooke was asked how long it took him to make America, his critically acclaimed documentary series, he replied: "I do not want to be coy, but it took 40 years."

    • He was parodied in Sesame Street's "Monsterpiece Theater" as "Alistair Cookie."

    • Bibliography
      Douglas Fairbanks: The Making of a Screen Character (1940 - ISBN 0870706845)
      Mencken (1955 - ISBN 0848804651)
      Talk About America (1968 - ISBN 0370003349)
      The Americans (1980 - 0425046818)
      Talk About America, 1951-68 (1981 - ISBN 0140057641)
      A Generation on Trial: The USA v. Alger Hiss (1982 - ISBN 0-313-23373-X)
      The Patient Has the Floor (1986 - ISBN 1-55504-214-7)
      America Observed: From the 1940s to the 1980s (1988 - ISBN 0394573420)
      Six Men (1995 - ISBN 1-55970-317-2)
      Fun & Games with Alistair Cooke: On Sport and Other Amusements (1996 - ISBN 1-55970-327-X)
      Memories of the Great and the Good (2000 - ISBN 1-55970-545-0)
      Alistair Cooke's America (2003 - ISBN 1841882291)
      Letter from America: 1946-2004 (2005 - ISBN 0141020156)
      The American Home Front: 1941-1942 (2006 - ISBN 0-87113-939-1)
      Alistair Cooke's American Journey: Life on the Home Front in the Second World War (2006 - ISBN 0-713-99879-2)

    • He was just yards away from Senator Bobby Kennedy when he was assassinated in 1968.

    • He was a passionate fan of jazz music, a passion which he alluded to during his America series.

    • In 1974, Cooke was invited to speak before a joint session of the United States Congress as part of its bicentennial celebrations. Cooke joked during his speech: "I gratefully accept your nomination for President of the United States!"

    • Cooke was awarded an honorary knighthood (KBE) in 1973, but was not known as "Sir Alistair" because he was no longer a British citizen.

    • Awards: Emmy (1973) for Individuals contributing to Documentary Programs, BAFTA (1991) silver award for his contribution to Anglo-American relations.

    • Charlie Chaplin was supposed to be his best man but he vanished at the last minute.

    • He was married to Ruth Emerson, grand-niece of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in 1934. They were divorced in 1944.

    • Was engaged to Bettina Riddle, daughter of actor Henry Ainley, before moving to study in the United States

    • At Cambridge he becoming the editor of The Granta, the student magazine

    • He was educated at Blackpool Grammar School and at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he gained a 2:1 in English

    • He legally added the name "Alistair" at the age of 22.

  • Quotes