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Woollcott, Alexander Humphreys  

Jonas Westover

(b Phalanx, NJ, Jan 19, 1887; d New York, NY, Jan 23, 1943). American drama critic, playwright, and actor. Woollcott is especially known for being a part of the Algonquin Round Table, a group of writers and artists that met for ten years at the Algonquin Hotel in New York. Woollcott attended Hamilton College in 1909, but moved to New York City because of his interest in the theater. From 1914 to 1922 he was writing for The New York Times, eventually moving to the New York World. Writing for The New Yorker, he penned a column entitled “Shouts and Murmurs” (1929–34), which is still a feature of the magazine. Concurrent with his writing, Woollcott also found a home on the radio, where one of his shows, The Town Crier, first appeared in 1929. Known for his sharp tongue mixed with unabashed sentimentality, the critic was compared to his friends James Thurber and George S. Kafuman, the latter of which penned two plays with Woollcott. Woollcott was widely read and highly respected, enough so that a positive review from him could solidify the success of a new production. One important notice was written for ...