E.B. White was an American writer and contributor to The New Yorker and a co-author of the famous English language style guide, The Elements of Style. Later in life, he turned his talents to writing children’s books including Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. He won the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, The Newberry Award, and the National Medal for Literature.
A quiet, unassuming man who disliked the public eye, his co-author James Thurber said of White:
“Most of us, out of a politeness made up of faint curiosity and profound resignation, go out to meet the smiling stranger with a gesture of surrender and a fixed grin, but White has always taken to the fire escape. He has avoided the Man in the Reception Room as he has avoided the interviewer, the photographer, the microphone, the rostrum, the literary tea, and the Stork Club. His life is his own. He is the only writer of prominence I know of who could walk through the Algonquin lobby or between the tables at Jack and Charlie’s and be recognized only by his friends.”— James Thurber, E. B. W., “Credos and Curios”
In honor of White’s humor and quiet wisdom, here are ten choice quotes: