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By His Own Rules

H. L. Mencken, a cigar always in hand, was the most influential commentator of his time.
Marion Elizabeth Rodgers
From the Print Edition:
Fidel Castro, Summer 94

(continued from page 4)

So it was in his eighteenth year that H. L. Mencken sailed forth from the portals of his father's cigar factory into the world beyond. Until his own death in 1956, Mencken listed himself in editions of Who's Who as "Journalist," but it was followed by: "Son of Cigarmaker, August Mencken, of August Mencken & Bro."

Marion Elizabeth Rodgers is the editor of The Impossible H. L. Mencken: a Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories (Doubleday/Anchor, 1991), Mencken & Sara: A Life in Letters (Doubleday/Anchor, 1992). She currently is working on a biography about Mencken to be published by Oxford University Press.


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