When I started freelancing at the New Yorker, in December of 1994, my boss took me on a little tour. It was really near Christmas and the offices were chilly and near-empty. But lodged in an office off in one side cooridor was Philip Hamburger, who smiled warmly and welcomed me to the magazine. Philip came on staff when Harold Ross edited the thing; I met him under the leadership of Tina Brown. Can you imagine? I did not say many words to Philip in my year or so at the magazine. He wasn't publishing much, if at all (Tina and Philip were an odd pair), and when he did it usually wasn't illustrated. He had really made his name during the war, with frequent and, I'm told, great dispatches.
He shared the little corridor with two other writers: Susan Orlean and David Remnick. An interesting trio. Philip died a few days ago. Remnick's postcript to him is in this week's magazine. It's worth a moment.
Hamburger was no George Plimpton. But Plimpton was no Philip Hamburger.Posted by dbrown at April 26, 2004 09:31 PM