Biography

“There are many critics, but there is only one Benjamin DeCassres.”
-The New York Times

“The Pontius Pilate of America.”
-H.L. Mencken

I’d like to write a brief biographical sketch of DeC for this page, but for the time it’s an incomplete timeline. I will try to find an accurate sketch written by someone else, but his obituaries will do for the time being.

WHO’S WHO 1926

Family

David DeCasseres, father. – born, August 24, 1841-died, August 1st 1904.
Charlotte “Lottie” (Davis) DeCasseres, mother. – born, ?-died, February 3rd, 1908.
Benjamin DeCasseres – born, 
Walter DeCasseres, brother – born, ?-died, February 3rd, 1908.
Adele Mary “Bio” Terrill DeCasseres, wife. born, (1876?) – died, February 15th, 1965.

ROUGH TIMELINE

1841 – Father David De Casseres born August 24, 1841 in Kingston, Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica

1873 – Benjamin DeCasseres born in Philadelphia, PA. to David and Lottie DeCasseres on

1886 (13) – Dropped out of school.

1889 – Hired as office boy for editor-in-cheif of Philadelphia Press

1890 – “Hon. Thomas B. Reed” published in Balford’s Magazine

1892 (16) – Promoted to proof-reader, occasionally writing editorials and reviews.

1899 (26) – Moved to New York City, hired as proof-reader for New York Sun. Began freelance writing.

1900 – Walter DeCasseres, his bother, dies of suicide.

1902 – First freelance article “Thomas Hardy’s Women” published in “The Bookman”

1902 – Met Bio.

1903 – Left New York Sun for New York Herald

1903 – Began contributing work to Elbert Hubbard’s various magazines, as well as The Critic.

1904 – Father David De Casseres died, August 1st 1904.

1906 – Moved to Mexico to work for English language edition of El Diario.

1907 – Returned to New York City and resumed job at New York Sun.

1908 – Lottie DeCasseres, his mother, dies on February 3rd.

1909 – Began writing for Camera Work

1913 – Last article for Camera Work

1913 – Announced his candidacy for Mayor of New York.

1914- First published in The Smart Set

1915 – The Shadow-Eater published

1919 – Married Bio October 12th

1920 – Joined Long Island staff of Famous Players Lansky

1921 – Introduction to Eldridge’s book And the Sphinx Spoke

1922 – Chameleon, Being a Book of My Selves published

1922 – Joined staff of Arts and Decoration magazine

1923 – first known Radio appearance

1924- Began working for Universal Studios in Hollywood, CA.

1925 – Forty Immortals published

1925 – James Gibbons Huneker published

1925 – Mirrors of New York published

1926 – Began writing for the American Mercury

1926 – What Is a Doodle-Goof? published

1926 – Arranged for publication of The Sublime Boy and The Boy of Bethlehem by Walter and Bio.

1927 – The Shadow-Eater republished in a revised edition

1928 – Anathema! Litanies of Negation published

1929 – Superman In America published

1930 – Mencken and Shaw published

1931 – Love Letters of a Living Poet published

1932 – Spinoza, Liberator of God and Man published

1933 – Left of Arts and Decoration magazine

1934 – When Huck Finn Went High Brow published

1935 – Germans, Jews and France by Nietzsche published

1936 – Muse of Lies published

1936 – Exhibitionism, the first of the “DeCasseres Books” published

1936 – The Communist-Parasite State published

1938 – Fantasia Impromptu, the last of the “DeCasseres Books” published

1938 – Don Marquis Published

1939 – The Works of Benjamin DeCasseres published

1945 – Death

1945 – FINIS published

 

One of the most common issues with searching for DeCasseres’ material is his last name. Many will put a space between the “De” and “Casseres”, including some of his published books, but when you see his signature and the books and publications he has the most control over, the space is lacking.

A relative, Samuel deCaseres, married Miriam de Spinoza, Benedict’s sister , thus linking Benjamin to one of his most favored figures.

 

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