Theater: Hello Out There

William Saroyan: 1908-1981

The story goes that in 1934, while a guest at San Francisco's Palace Hotel, Publisher Bennett Cerf was informed that "a young man who says he is the world's greatest author is in the lobby." Replied Cerf unhesitatingly: "Tell Mr. Saroyan to come right up." Playwright William Saroyan was still rambunctiously self-assured a few days before cancer killed him last week in Fresno, Calif. "Everybody has got to die," he said, "but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case."

It was an interesting case. Saroyan was born in Fresno, son of Armenian refugees who fled...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!