Joseph Epstein

Birth Day January 9th, 1937
Birth Place Chicago, Illinois
Age 87 Years Old

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About Joseph Epstein

Joseph Epstein is an American essayist, short-story writer, and editor. Epstein served as an editor of The American Scholar for 25 years from 1975 to 1997. He also served as a lecturer for over 25 years at Northwestern University. He made headlines in December 2020 for his widely read misogynistic and bizarre attack on Dr. Jill Biden, the First Lady of the United States for using an earned academic title in professional settings. He received criticism for calling Dr. Biden "kiddo". He previously received criticism from the gay community for his homophobic article in Harper's Magazine in 1970. He has received several awards and honors including the National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2003. The following article details the life story of Joseph Epstein. 

Joseph Epstein was born on January 9, 1937. He was born in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. He was born to Belle Epstein (father) and Maurice Epstein (mother). His father was a Canadian who moved to the United States at the age of 17, where he worked as a salesman until he set up his own business. He has one younger brother. He holds an American nationality. He belongs to the white ethnicity. His religion is Jewish. Epstein is a Senn High School graduate. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in absentia from the University of Chicago in 1959. He served in the US Army during peacetime from 1958 to 1960.

Joseph Epstein lecturer

Source: @writerswrite

Joseph Epstein Career

  • Joseph Epstein worked as an editor of The American Scholar for 25 years. The American Scholar is the magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. 
  • He wrote for the magazine under the pseudonym Aristides. 
  • He worked there from 1975 to 1997.
  • In 1998, the Phi Beta Kappa senate removed Epstein as the editor of The American Scholar by a vote. 
  • From 1974 to 2002, he was also a lecturer in English and writing at Northwestern University.
  • He has written several essay books and short storybooks. His essay collections, Plausible Prejudices: Essays on American Writing was published in 1985. 
  • He is also a short story writer. 
  • Two of his short stories were included in The Best American Short Stories, one in 2007, and another one in 2009.
  • He received criticism in 1970 when his article about the LGBTQ community titled, "Homo/Hetero: The Struggle for Sexual Identity" used the N-word to described being gay. 
  • His article was published in Harper's Magazine. He was criticized for its perceived homophobia.
  • He had written that he considered homosexuality "a curse, in a literal sense". he also wrote that his sons could do nothing to make him sadder than "if any of them were to become homosexual". He wrote in the essay, if possible, "I would wish homosexuality off the face of the earth".
  • After the controversy, A sit-in took place at Harper's by members of the Gay Activists Alliance. 
  • Epstein made headlines in December 2020 when he suggested that Dr. Biden should stop using the academic title "Dr.". 
  • In his Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled, "Is There a Doctor in the White House? Not if You Need an M.D." he made comments about Dr. Biden using the "Dr." title.
  • He addressed Biden, who holds an earned Doctor of Education as "Madame First Lady - Mrs. Biden-Jill-kiddo". 
  • His disrespectful address received excessive criticism on Twitter. "Kiddo" became a trending topic on Twitter.
  • Adelphi University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1988. 
  • He won the Heartland Prize in 1989 for his work Partial Payments: Essays on Writers and Their Lives.
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2003.
  • He received the Ribalow Prize for fiction for his short story collection Fabulous Small Jews in 2004.

Some of his notable works: 

  • Plausible Prejudices: Essays on American Writing (1985)
  • Partial Payments: Essays on Writers and Their Lives (1989)
  • The Goldin Boys (1991)
  • Life Sentences: Literary Essays (1997)
  • Narcissus Leaves the Pool (1999)
  • Snobbery: The American Version (2002)
  • Fabulous Small Jews (2003)

Joseph Epstein Wife

Joseph Epstein married his second wife Barbara Maher in February 1976. He has a son, Mark Burton from his first marriage. The detailed information about his first marriage will be updated soon. He also has a son from his second marriage. 

Joseph Epstein Net Worth

Joseph Epstein is popular as an essayist, short-story writer, and editor who worked as an editor of The American Scholar for 25 years. He also served as a lecturer for over 25 years of his life. During this period, he wrote numerous, essays, short stories, and columns for various publications and magazines. He made most of his fortune from his writing as well as his teaching career. His net worth will be updated soon. 

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