Joel J. Kupperman

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Joel J. Kupperman (born May 18, 1936) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, author of Six Myths about the Good Life, a popular philosophical volume centering on those values most worth engaging in human life. Kupperman is best known to the general public as the "math Quiz Kid" who, during the 1940s astounded audiences with his ability to do complex mathematics rapidly and seemingly "in his head". He also had strong general knowledge, and was often the winner of the weekly Quiz Kid competitions featured on the show. In a movie at the time "Chip off the Old Block" (1944), starring Donald O'Connor, Peggy Ryan and Ann Blyth, Kupperman alone was featured as the "Quiz Kid", representative of the group.[1]

During his initial Quiz Kids shows, Kupperman, 7, lisped, which emphasized his youth and endeared him to the listening audience.[2] During one particular broadcast of the Quiz Kids Joel would show his ability to multiply any number times 99 "in his head". When asked how he was able to do this he replied "It's a theequit twick". When asked what the "secret trick" was he explained that the number he was given he merely multiplied by one hundred then subtracted the same number from the previous total to get the correct answer.

He is married to noted historian/author Karen Ordahl Kupperman, who teaches at New York University. The couple have two children: Michael Joel Kupperman, a noted illustrator; and Charlie Anders Kupperman,[3][4] a medical journalist [5] and editor for Eli Healthcare,[6] formerly residing in North Carolina.[7]


  1. ^ Kupperman, Joel J. Six Myths about the Good Life: Thinking about what has Value. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2006
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2] Gilbert, Margaret and Hiskes, Anne, eds. 'Cogitamus' (March 2, 1999).
  4. ^ [3] Scanlon, Jennifer and Cosner, Shaaron. American women historians, 1700s-1990s: a biographical dictionary, p. 138. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996
  5. ^ [4] Part B Insider Staff and Bios
  6. ^ [5] Editorial Staff
  7. ^ [6] Gilbert, Margaret and Hiskes, Anne, eds. 'Cogitamus' (March 2, 1999).