Let's face it: There have been hundreds of "notable" New Yorkers, and picking even those individuals who grew up in just one of the city's hundreds of neighborhoods would be hard. Fortunately, the good souls at the History Research Office of the Columbia University Libraries have plucked out some great interviews with ten New Yorkers from their rather prodigious collection. Now, before visitors jump into the interviews, they should take a look at one (or all three) of Dr. Ronald J. Grele's background essays offered up here on the homepage. Dr. Grele is the director emeritus of the Oral History Research Office and here he comments on the history of the Office, the list of "Notable New Yorkers", and the social and cultural milieu of both New York and the entire nation during the time period when these interviews were conducted in the last five decades of the 20th century. After these introductions, visitors should go over to the interviews, which include conversations with noted psychologist Kenneth Clark, famed publisher and humorist Bennett Cerf, and former New York mayor, Edward I. Koch.
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