Maury Henry Biddle Paul

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Maury Henry Biddle Paul
Born(1890-04-14)April 14, 1890
DiedJuly 17, 1942(1942-07-17) (aged 52)
Cause of deathHeart condition
Resting placeCaballero Rivero Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and Mausoleum
Other namesCholly Knickerbocker
EducationEpiscopal Academy
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Years active1914–1942

Maury Henry Biddle Paul (April 14, 1890 – July 17, 1942) was an American journalist who became famous as a society columnist for the New York American (which became the New York Journal-American when it merged with the New York Evening Journal). Writing under the pseudonym "Cholly Knickerbocker", he coined the term "Café Society".[1] The name "Cholly Knickerbocker" was owned by the Hearst Newspaper Syndicate, and Paul was the first, writing under the nom de plume from 1917 until his death in 1942.

Early years and career[edit]

Paul was born in Philadelphia to William Henry Paul and the former Eleanor Virginia Biddle, who were members of the Social Register. He was a member of the Sons of the Revolution and the Society of the War of 1812. He attended the Episcopal Academy and later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1914, he began his career as a newspaperman at the Philadelphia Times. His apprenticeship was brief, and he was soon hired by the New York Press as society editor. In 1917, he moved to Hearst's New York American, where he took over the "Cholly Knickerbocker" gossip column that focused on members of high society.[2]

In addition to coining the phrase "Cafe Society" to describe the people who frequented tony night clubs and expensive restaurants, he also invented the expression "The Old Guard" (the "Four Hundred") for the venerable New York families.[3] Paul focused on the very well-born and extremely rich. In addition to his daily column, each week he wrote three features for the Sunday edition of the American. The column and features were carried by the over 60 newspapers of the Hearst syndicate.


On July 17, 1942, Paul died of an illness caused by a heart condition at his New York City home. He was 52 years old. He was succeeded as Cholly Knickerbocker by Igor Cassini.[3] His funeral was held on July 20 at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan. His remains were later shipped to Florida and interred at the Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Park North Cemetery and Mausoleum in Miami where Paul owned a summer home.[4] His biography, Champagne Cholly, was written by his secretary, Eve Brown.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Press: Society Reporter". Time Magazine. July 27, 1942. Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  2. ^ "Maury Paul, Noted Society Editor, 52, Dies". The Miami News. July 17, 1942. p. 1B. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Cholly Knickerbocker". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  4. ^ "Society Pays Tribute To Famed Chronicler". The Palm Beach Post. July 22, 1942. p. 2. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  5. ^ Brown, Eve. Champagne Cholly. E.P. Dutton (1947)