Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1931

Dorothy Parker resigns as drama critic for The New Yorker

The witty and caustic Dorothy Parker resigns her job as drama critic for The New Yorker. However, she continues to write book reviews until 1933, which are published in 1971 as A Month of Saturdays.

The funny, sophisticated Parker symbolized the Roaring Twenties in New York for many readers. Parker was born in New Jersey and lost her mother as an infant. Shortly after she finished high school, her father died, and she struck out on her own for New York, where she took a job writing captions for fashion photos for Vogue for $10 a week. She supplemented her income by playing piano at nights at a dancing school.

In 1917, she was transferred to the stylish Vanity Fair, where she became close friends with Robert Benchley, the managing editor, and Robert Sherwood, the drama critic. The three became the core of the famous Algonquin Round Table, an ad hoc group of newspaper and magazine writers, playwrights, and performers who lunched regularly at the Algonquin Hotel and tried to outshine each other in brilliant conversation and witty wisecracks. Parker, known as the quickest tongue among them, became the frequent subject of gossip columns as a prototypical young New Yorker enjoying the freedom of the 1920s.

Parker lost her job at Vanity Fair in 1919 because her reviews were too harsh. She began writing reviews for The New Yorker, as well as publishing her own work. Her 1926 poetry collection, Enough Rope, became a bestseller, and her short story collection Big Blonde won the prestigious O. Henry Award. Despite her carefree reputation, Parker was cynical and depressed, and tried to kill herself twice.

In 1933, she married actor Alan Campbell, moved to Hollywood, and became a screenwriter. Parker collaborated on more than 20 screenplays, including A Star Is Born (1937) and its remake in 1954. She and Campbell divorced in 1947 but remarried in 1950. The outspoken Parker embraced radical politics, taking a stand against fascism and supporting communism. Although she never joined the Communist Party, she and Campbell were blacklisted from Hollywood during the McCarthy-era House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and never worked in film again. Parker died in 1967.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Ugandan dictator Idi Amin overthrown

On April 11, 1979, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin flees the Ugandan capital of Kampala as Tanzanian troops and forces of the Uganda National Liberation Front close in. Two days later, Kampala fell and a coalition government of former exiles took power. Amin, chief of the Ugandan army ...read more

The Apollo 13 astronauts

Apollo 13 launched to moon

On April 11, 1970, Apollo 13, the third lunar landing mission, is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The spacecraft’s destination was the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon, where the ...read more

International Labor Organization founded

On this day in 1919, in Paris, France, the International Labor Organization (ILO) is founded as an independent, affiliated agency of the League of Nations. The call for just and equal labor standards and improved working and living conditions for the world’s workers had begun to ...read more

Troops from Hawaii sent to South Vietnam

One hundred U.S. troops of the Hawaiian-based 25th Infantry Division are ordered to temporary duty with military units in South Vietnam to serve as machine gunners aboard Army H-21 helicopters. This was the first commitment of American combat troops to the war and represented a ...read more

B-52s strike North Vietnamese positions

On this day, B-52 strikes against communist forces attacking South Vietnamese positions in the Central Highlands near Kontum remove any immediate threat to that city. Air strikes against North Vietnam continued, but were hampered by poor weather. Also on this day, the Pentagon ...read more

Phil Mickelson wins first major at Masters

On this day in 2004, Phil Mickelson wins the Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, his first major championship in nearly 12 years as a professional golfer. A native of California, Mickelson graduated from Arizona State University, where he won three NCAA ...read more