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Norman Mailer

On January 31, 1923, Norman Kingsley Mailer, novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film-maker, actor, and liberal political activist, was born at Monmouth Memorial Hospital in Long Branch. His grandfather, Chaim Yehudah Schneider, was known as the town’s “unofficial rabbi.” Mailer’s family had prospered in the hotel business in the area, including owning the Scarboro Hotel on Ocean Ave. and South Bath Ave., considered the last of the grand Long Branch seaside hotels. They expanded their portfolio with the purchase of three large beach houses on Ocean Avenue, which they named “Kingsley Court” in honor of Norman. When Norman was five, the family moved to Brooklyn. Norman would return to Long Branch to spend his summers with family still in the area, and did his first writing at the Scarboro. Mailer was considered “one of the most controversial figures” of his era, and also, “one of the most influential.” He became a best-selling author at age 23, twice won the Pulitzer Prize, ran for mayor of New York City, and co-founded The Village Voice. Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thompson, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, which uses the style and devices of literary fiction in fact-based journalism. Mailer died on November 10, 2007. In 2018, a memorial marker to Mailer, his family, and the Scarboro Hotel was erected on the beach at Long Branch.

Lennon, J. Michael (2013). Norman Mailer: A Double Life. Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y., P. 7-14.

Rollyson, Carl (1991). The Lives of Norman Mailer: A Biography. Paragon House, New York, N.Y., P. 1-5.

Dearborn, Mary V., (1999). Mailer: A Biography. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, N.Y., P. 11-16.

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