Fran Lebowitz (1950 -)
Frances Ann,‘Fran’ Lebowitz is an American journalist, author, public speaker and occasional actor. She is particularly well known for her sardonic comments on American life , particularly as viewed through her experiences and observations as a long time New York City resident, such that she has been called a modern day Dorothy Parker.
She was born to her parents Ruth Lebowitz and Harold Lebowitz on October 27, 1950 and she has one sister, Ellen.
She raised in Morristown, New Jersey and Lebowitz describes her Jewish identity as ethnic or cultural but not religious. She has been an atheist since the age of 7.
After being expelled from high school and earning only a Certificate of General Educational Development, Lebowitz worked various odd jobs before Andy Warhol hired her as a columnist for ‘Interview’, an American magazine nicknamed ‘The Crystal Ball of Pop’, which features intimate conversations between some of the world’s biggest celebrities, for which she wrote a column called ‘I Cover the Waterfront’ .This was followed by writing for ‘ Madamoiselle’, primarily a fashion magazine aimed at smart educated young women and also known for publishing short stories by noted authors.
Her first two books were her essay collections ‘Metropolitan Life ’ in 1978 and ‘Social Studies’ in1981, both collected in’ The Fran Lebowitz Reader’.
In 1995 she wrote ‘Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas’, a children’s book about giant pandas living in New York City who long to move to Paris.
Lebowitz has been known, in part, for ‘Exterior Signs of Wealth’, a long-overdue, unfinished novel, purportedly about rich people who want to be artists and artists who want to be rich. She also made several appearances on ‘Late Night’ with David Letterman and had a recurring role as ‘Judge Janice Goldberg’ on the television drama ‘Law & Order’ from 2001 to 2007.
A heavy smoker, Lebowitz is known for her advocacy of smokers’ rights. She is also known for her massive book collection and her refusal to use modern technologies, including cell phones and computers.
In September 2007, Lebowitz was named one of the year’s most stylish women in Vanity Fair’s 68th Annual International Best-Dressed List. She is known for her trademark men’s suit jackets and white shirts, cowboy boots, jeans, and tortoiseshell glasses.
She has written 4 books with one in production.