Stories My Father Told Me

Notes from "the Lyon's Den"

By Jeffrey Lyons

Release Date
Format eBook 350 pages File Formats epub, prc
ISBN-13 978-0-78926-001-7 SKU 1042465
Other Formats Hardcover

An incredible collection of celebrity stories and photographs from 1934 to the present, from the archives of "The Lyons Den" by eminent New York Post columnist Leonard Lyons, compiled by his son, movie critic Jeffrey Lyons.

This amazing collection of choice anecdotes takes us right back to the Golden Age of New York City nightlife, when top restaurants like Toots Shor’s, “21,” and Sardi’s, as well as glittering nightclubs like the Stork Club, The Latin Quarter, and El Morocco, were the nightly gathering spots for great figures of that era: movie and Broadway stars, baseball players, champion boxers, comedians, diplomats, British royalty, prize-winning authors, and famous painters. From Charlie Chaplin to Winston Churchill, from Ethel Barrymore to Sophia Loren, from George Burns to Ernest Hemingway, from Joe DiMaggio to the Duke of Windsor: Leonard Lyons knew them all. For forty glorious years, from 1934 to 1974, he made the daily rounds of Gotham nightspots, collecting the exclusive scoops and revelations that were at the core of his famous newspaper column, “The Lyons Den.”

In this entertaining volume Jeffrey Lyons has assembled a considerable compilation of anecdotes from his father’s best columns, and has also contributed a selection of his own in-depth interviews conducted on his own TV shows with George Clooney, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, George Carlin, Dennis Hopper, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ben Kingsley and other current stars. Organized chronologically by decade and subdivided by celebrity, Stories My Father Told Me offers fascinating and amusing stories illustrated by some sixty archival photographs. He so captured the tenor of those exciting times that the great Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg said: “Imagine how much richer American history would have been had there been a Leonard Lyons in Lincoln’s time.”


“No one did more to promote New York’s deserved reputation as a capital of glamour and culture...a century after his birth, the legacy of Leonard Lyons lives on. The names on the marquee may have changed, but the memory of Leonard Lyons remains a guiding light in New York City’s cultural community.” -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

“For four decades ‘The Lyons Den’ was an institution and will be invaluable to historians seeking behind-the-scenes glimpses of that long era.” -- Clyde Haberman of the New York Post

"A veritable storm of outtakes from Leonard Lyons’ 'Lyons Den' society column from the New York Post, which dazzle rather than titillate... this collection is a treat..." -- Kirkus Reviews

"What emerges is an engrossing journey through the cultural nightlife of a lost Manhattan of swanky, smoke-filled nightclubs and exclusive eateries, theater openings, and film premieres...A fun read filled with tales of some of the 20th century's biggest luminaries." -- Library Journal

"Including rare photographs from family archives, this is a must-have book for film lovers and celebrity fans alike—made even more delightful by taking us on a trip down memory lane and reintroducing us to the vernacular of the day. Whether set on the coffee table or added to the bookshelf with other biographies or film books, this homage to Leonard Lyons' passion for the celebrity interview is a first-rate collection of historical significance." -- US Review of Books

1st Runner-Up, Memoir category -- 2012 Eric Hoffer Award

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