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The Legendary Mizners

Alva Johnston; Illustrated by Reginald Marsh

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The real-life adventures of Addison and Wilson Mizner, the subjects of the Stephen Sondheim musical Gold!

Alva Johnston's joint biography of Addison and Wilson Mizner is a delightful portrait of two of the early twentieth century's most clever and infamous rascals. Born in the 1870s in California, the brothers quickly rose to prominence during the various booms of the 1920s.

Addison, the elder, was a self-made architect and real-estate dealer who designed many of the fantastic homes of the fantastically rich in Palm Beach. He could "age" a house and its furnishings to any period his client desired--and would pay for. Wilson's adventures were even more daring and varied, and his quick wit was legendary. In addition to getting rich on the Alaskan gold rush, he had careers as a singer, playwright, prizefight promoter, con man, real-estate salesman, and shady hotel owner. Perhaps his most famous quip was one he delivered on being told that President Coolidge had died: "How do they know?"

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The Legendary Mizners
Chapter OneA BEGINNING IN BENICIATHE LEGENDS OF WILSON MIZNER and Addison Mizner ran parallel through most of their lives, but now and then, with outrageous results, the lines converged. Wilson was by profession a conversational artist, Addison an architect, but neither was that easily classified. Addison was born in 1872, in Benicia, California, the second youngest of seven children. Wilson was born in the same town four years later.The Mizners, in addition to being one of the most eccentric families this country has produced, were the oldest of the old families of Benicia,
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Alva Johnston; Illustrated by Reginald Marsh

  • Alva Johnston (1888-1950) wrote for many newspapers and periodicals, including The New York Times and The New Yorker, in which these profiles first appeared. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1922 for his reporting.
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The Legendary Mizners

Alva Johnston; Illustrated by Reginald Marsh

  • e-Book

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