April 19, 2018

George Plimpton Dies at 76

By LJ Staff

Writer, publisher, and actor George Plimpton died September 25 of undisclosed causes. He was 76. Plimpton recently announced that he had signed a deal with Little Brown to pen his memoir for release in 2006. Plimpton has had a successful career as a writer, while also supporting the profession through the publication of The Paris Review, noted for its interviews with writers. The magazine gained recognition in the 1950s for its rare talks with Ernest Hemingway, which today still rank among the most intimate sessions with the Nobel laureate. The Paris Review additionally championed the young Jack Kerouac and Philip Roth. ‘George Plimpton was the MVP in his own league,’ professor and literary scholar Matthew Bruccoli, a long-time personal friend, told LJ. ‘He won the triple crown for editing, writing, and promoting literature. Literature has lost a champion. George probably put more time into advancing other writers than he put into his own career. To be George’s friend. was to have a ticket to good talk, good company, good times, and helpful connections. He ran the best literary club in America.’ Plimpton was raised the son of a diplomat and he rubbed shoulders with politicians ranging from Jack Kennedy to George Bush, but his heart belonged to the common man, whose perspective he tried to capture in his outings as a participatory journalist when playing pro football with the Detroit Lions, boxing with Archie Moore, and playing golf on the PGA tour. Plimpton also found success in a third career as an actor, appearing in 23 feature film and TV roles, ranging from the John Wayne vehicle Rio Lobo to Oscar winner Good Will Hunting to TV’s The Simpsons.