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Q: Author Lee Mortimer ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Author Lee Mortimer
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: nealysmith79-ga
List Price: $3.50
Posted: 11 Nov 2002 21:02 PST
Expires: 11 Dec 2002 21:02 PST
Question ID: 105838
Please provide a biography of former New York Mirror columnist and New
York: Confidential author Lee Mortimer. Please also list his contact
information (provided he's still alive!). Thanks so much!
Subject: Re: Author Lee Mortimer
Answered By: luciaphile-ga on 12 Nov 2002 12:39 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi nealysmith79-ga, 

Thanks for your question.

Lee Mortimer was born as Mortimer Lieberman to Nathan and Rose
Lieberman in Chicago, Illinois. His birth date is given as 1904 in
several sources, although still others have it as 1906. He attended
Northwestern University and later NYC. He began as a reporter in 1922.
Between 1922 and 1932, Mortimer worked as a reporter, feature writer,
and critic for various New York papers. In 1932, he went to work for
the NY Mirror as amusement editor and columnist. He also worked as a
radio commentator and as a lecturer of subjects such as crime and
Communism. During World War II, he served as a First Lieutenant in the
Signal Corps from 1942 to 1943.

He married Ann Koga in 1951, with whom he’d corresponded, but was left
a widower in when she died of cancer in 1954. He died on March 1,

“Who Was Who in America.” Volume 4, 1961-1968. Chicago: Marquis Who’s
Who, 1968, vol. 4, p. 683.

“Obituaries on File,” compiled by Felice Levy. New York: Facts on
File, 1979, p 431.

Ann Koga Mortimer Memorial Scholarship

Honolulu Star-Bulletin Editorial Column

After the war, Mortimer and reporter, Jack Lait wrote “New York
Confidential,” a purported guidebook to the seamier side of New York. 
The book was a hit, and they repeated the winning formula with
“Chicago Confidental,”“Washington Confidential” and “USA
Confidential.” The books were strictly sensational and sold extremely

Mobtown Beat: Charmed Life

Cape Cod Confidential

Frank Sinatra and Lee Mortimer had a few run-ins. Sinatra, enraged at
being referred to as a “dago” and Mortimer attempting to tie him to
the Mafia and the Communist Party, punched Mortimer in the nose. The
Hearst papers (who employed Mortimer) promptly began attacking Sinatra
full force.

The Michigan Daily Online

An article by Mortimer on Frank Sinatra can be read at:
Frank Sinatra Confidential: Gangsters in the Night Clubs

Another site of interest:
Dewey Webb Pulp Fiction

Search strategy:
Because Mortimer died in so long ago, I went to print sources for most
of his early life.

“Biography and Genealogy Master Index.” Detroit: Gale Research Co.,
vol. 5 2nd ed. P. 438 and vol. 4, 1981-85, p. 2659 gave me references
to the books listed above and I went from there.

Google Search:
Confidential “lee mortimer”
“lee mortimer” “jack lait”
“lee mortimer” sinatra
“lee mortimer” koga

I hope this answers your question. If you require additional
information, please ask for clarification, and I’ll be happy to help


Request for Answer Clarification by nealysmith79-ga on 12 Nov 2002 13:07 PST
Hi Luciaphile!

One more thing, if you don't mind-- Did you run across any pictures of
Mr. Mortimer in your research?


Clarification of Answer by luciaphile-ga on 12 Nov 2002 15:48 PST
Hi nealysmith79-ga,

I'm sorry to say I haven't found any photos online. I did several
image searches, to no avail (plenty of Lee Mortimers, just not the one
you're looking for). I also took a quick look in two obituaries in old
bound volumes of two periodicals, just in case and again nothing.

"Time Magazine," March 8, 1963, 81:91
"Newsweek," March 11, 1963, 61:63

Google Images search
"lee mortimer"
mortimer sinatra
mortimer confidential
mortimer lait

I did turn up one more site that offers a fuller account of the
Mortimer/Sinatra feud.

"What Will Sinatra Do Next?"


Request for Answer Clarification by nealysmith79-ga on 12 Nov 2002 18:56 PST
Hello Luciaphile!

Thank you for looking for the pics of Mr. Mortimer. 

I'm happy to say that by I found a hardcover copy of Chicago:
Confidential! that featured a picture of the author on the dust cover.
I posted it in case you were curious.

Thanks again!!!

Clarification of Answer by luciaphile-ga on 13 Nov 2002 05:09 PST
You're welcome. 

Now that you've got the publicity photo, if you click on the link I
gave you in the first clarification request, I do believe that photo
of Sinatra in the courtroom has Mortimer in the background!


Request for Answer Clarification by nealysmith79-ga on 13 Nov 2002 09:31 PST

You're right! And he doesn't look too pleased with Frankie!

Excellent detective work!

Clarification of Answer by luciaphile-ga on 13 Nov 2002 11:15 PST
You're welcome.

nealysmith79-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Thanks for the fast and friendly answer! I'm sorry to hear that he has passed on.

There are no comments at this time.

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