George Plimpton Biography and Career Timeline | American Masters

George plimpton books

biography courtesy of paris review.

George Plimpton (1927-2003) was the editor of the Paris Review from its founding in 1953 until his death in 2003. A graduate of Harvard University and Kings College, Cambridge, Plimpton was recruited to Paris by Peter Matthiessen in 1952 and he signed on to the project soon after. “I have decided to stay here in Paris and run this magazine”, he wrote to his parents. “I think I’d be a fool not to.”

In addition to his lifelong commitment to the Paris Review, Plimpton is best known for his forays into the world of professional athletics: he earned a nose injury while training with Archie Moore in 1959; he was exhausted during a pitching outing against a series of mlb all stars in 1960; he lost thirty yards during one season as a quarterback for the detroit lions in 1963; and he was beaten at golf by arnold palmer and jack nicklaus in 1967…despite a personal handicap of 18. his knack for participatory journalism also led him to try his hand at aerialist stunts for the clyde beatty brothers’ circus. Cole—failed miserably—and try his hand at percussion with the New York Philharmonic (where a botched gong hit earned him immediate applause from conductor Leonard Bernstein).

In total, Plimpton is the author of more than fifteen books, including Paper Lion, Out of My League, and The Bogey Man. He also appeared in more than thirty films, including Lawrence of Arabia, Rio Robo, and Good Will Hunting. Plimpton was made an officer of l’ordre des artes et des lettres and a chevalier de la legion d’honneur, and was elected a member of the american academy of arts and letters.

1927 George Plimpton is born (March 18)

1940 attends exeter academy

1944 expelled from exeter academy; attends harvard university

1948 he joined the army, stationed in italy

1950 graduates from harvard; attends cambridge university

1952 peter matthiessen calls, offers editing job

1953 the first issue of the Paris magazine is published

1957 Plimpton returns to New York; He starts writing for Sports Illustrated

1958 pitches against all-stars at yankee stadium

1959 archie moore boxes

1961 out of my league published

1963 joins the detroit lions and writes about lions for Sports Illustrated

1966 swims against Olympian don scholander; paper lion posted

1967 play on pga, writes the bogeyman

1968 plays with the new york philharmonic; he marries spy freddy; Robert F. kennedy is assassinated

1969 plays with the boston celtics

1970-72 plimpton! air tv specials (stand up comedy, car racing, soccer, african photography, trapeze at the circus, performing with the new york philharmonic and performing with john wayne)

1971 appears as a punch line in a New York cartoon; His daughter Medora Ames Plimpton is born

1975 works as a photographer for playboy

1977 their son Taylor Ames Plimpton is born; play with the boston bruins

1981 appears in red

1984 open network published

1985 article “the curious case of sidd finch” appears in sports illustrated (apr 1)

1988 freddy files for divorce

1991 Plimpton marries Sarah Dudley

1994 the twins Laura and Olivia are born

2002 Plimpton inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters

2003 the paris magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary; plimpton reunites with the paper lion team for the 40th anniversary; dies in her sleep at age 76 on September 25

Related Articles

Back to top button