Herb Caen

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Herbert Eugene Caen (April 3, 1916February 1, 1997) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist working in San Francisco.


  • If I do go to heaven, I'm going to do what every San Franciscan does who goes to heaven. He looks around and says, 'It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco.'
  • The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever, but what's wrong with that, really?
    • Caen, Herb. Herb Caen's San Francisco, 1976-1991, page 159. Chronicle Books, 1992. ISBN
  • A city is where you can sign a petition, boo the chief justice, fish off a pier, gaze at a hippopotamus, buy a flower at the corner, or get a good hamburger or a bad girl at 4 a.m. A city is where sirens make white streaks of sound in the sky and foghorns speak in dark grays. San Francisco is such a city.

Quotes about[edit]

  • On Monday, the Chronicle ran a long piece on Herb Caen, by Herb Caen. My first reaction was, "My God, he's dead." After all, the last Caen piece to run that long and that far away from the Macy's ad was his exquisite obituary for Benny Goodman — social and personal history that read like being gathered around the radio. And it would make sense to assign Caen to his own obituary, as he is the reigning master of the art and known to meet his deadline no matter what the obstacle. These are inappropriately morbid thoughts on the occasion of Caen's 50th anniversary of writing daily columns. It's a joyous occasion because it means this unnervingly youthful 70-year-old genius has only about 50 more years of columns to do before the Chronicle is on its feet again. Then, maybe, they'll give him a vacation without making him write about it. I hope the Royal holds up.

External links[edit]

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