A Note About the Author

CRAIG CLAIBORNE was born September 4, 1920 in Sunflower, Mississippi, and grew up in Indianola. He attended Mississippi State and was graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

For several years he worked in public relations in Chicago, then served in the Navy during the Korean War. Following his discharge, he enrolled in the Swiss Hotelkeepers’ Association School in Lausanne from which he graduated eighth in a class of sixty. Upon returning to the United States he worked for Gourmet magazine and for a public relations firm specializing in food accounts until 1957, when he was hired as Food Editor of The New York Times. In that position he became a nationwide authority on food; appearing frequently in magazines and on television.

He was one of the three best-known food writers in America during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s during his tenure at the New York Times, the others being Julia Child and James Beard. His first and most popular book, The New York Times Cookbook of 1961, sold over three million copies and was eventually translated into seventeen languages. He co-wrote (with Virginia Lee) the first American cookbook of genuine Chinese cuisine, The Chinese Cookbook, published in 1972, as well as twenty other cookbooks, including Craig Claiborne’s Memorable Meals and Craig Claiborne’s Southern Cooking.

Craig lived most of his adult life in Manhattan and East Hampton, Long Island. He was known for his elaborate New Year’s Eve and birthday parties, as well as his Fourth of July picnics. He died of a heart attack on January 22, 2000.