Franklin Pierce Adams (15 November, 1881 – 23 March, 1960) was a writer and columnist as well as a radio personality.
- Mr. Adams wrote under the nom de plume: F.P.A.
- Adams’ given middle name was “Leopold”, he changed it to “Pierce” after his Bar Mitzvah.
- In his first writing gig with the Chicago Journal (1903), Adams wrote a sports column and a humor column
- Adams’ best known poem is “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon” or “Tinkers to Evers to Chance”. The poem is from the point of view of a New York Giants fan who is watching the Chicago Cubs infield of shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers, and first baseman Frank Chance complete a double play.
Adams served in the U.S. Army during World War I. He wrote a column called The Listening Post for Stars and Stripes and was in military intelligence.
- Adams’ nick name was the “comma-hunter of Park Row”
- When Adams moved to his column, a parody of Samuel Pepys’s Diary, from Chicago’s Evening Mail to the New York Tribune his column was retitled “The Conning Tower”. In the column Adams featured contributors and it was said that just being published in “The Conning Tower” was enough to start a career. And it was true, such luminaries and Dorothy Parker and James Thruber got their start in the column.
- The word “aptronym”, last names that fit a person’s job, is credited to Adams (it was later reined as “aptonym”).
- Adams was the designated expect on poetry, Gilbert and Sullivan and …old barroom songs on the radio show “Information Please” which ran from 1938 to 1948. A running joke on the show was that he answered “Shakespeare” for every question he did not know the answer to.
- Adams also translated classical literature and wrote a musical comedy, Lo, with O. Henry.
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