Joseph Epstein Biography

Joseph Epstein

Quick Facts Of Joseph Epstein

Celebrated Name Joseph Epstein
Age 84 Years
Nick Name Aristides
Birth Name Joseph Epstein
Birth Date 1937-01-09
Gender Male
Profession Essayist
Place Of Birth Chicago, Illinois
Birth Nation United States
Nationality American
Famous For Served as editor of The American Scholar from 1975 to 1997
Father Belle Epstein
Mother Maurice Epstein
Ethnicity White
Religion Jewish
Siblings 1 younger brother
High School Senn High School
College / University University of Illinois, University of Chicago
Education BA degree
Awards The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2003.
Marital Status Married
Wife Barbara Maher
Children 2
Net Worth Not Available
Source of Wealth Book sales, contract, salary

Joseph Epstein is an American essayist, short-story writer, and editor. He served as an editor of The American Scholar for 25 years from 1974 to 1998. He is known for a 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 from the gay community for his homophobic article in Harper's Magazine in 1970. 

He was awarded a National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2003.

What is Joseph Epstein Famous For?

  • His widely-read misogynistic and bizarre attack on the First Lady of the United States for using an earned academic title in professional settings. 

Joseph Epstein editor

Source: @chicagotribune

Where is Joseph Epstein From?

Joseph Epstein was born on 9 January 1937. His birth place is in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. He holds an American nationality. He was born to a father, Belle Epstein, and a mother, Maurice Epstein. His father was a Canadian who worked as a salesman until he set up his own business. He has a younger brother. He belongs to white ethnicity and his religion is Jewish.

Regarding his educational background, he attended Senn High School. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Joseph Epstein Career

  • Joseph Epstein worked as an editor of The American Scholar for 25 years from 1974 to 1998.
  • The American Scholar is the magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. 
  • He wrote for the magazine under the pseudonym Aristides. 
  • He was also a lecturer in English and writing at Northwestern University from 1974 to 2002.
  • The Phi Beta Kappa senate removed Epstein as the editor of The American Scholar by a vote in 1998.
  • 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. 
  • One of his short stories was included in The Best American Short Stories in 2007.   
  • Another short story by Epstein was included in The Best American Short Stories in 2009.
  • He drove controversy in 1970 when his article "Homo/Hetero: The Struggle for Sexual Identity" used the N-word to described being gay. 
  • The article was published in Harper's Magazine. He was criticized for its perceived homophobia.
  • He wrote 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".
  • 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."
  • Biden holds an earned Doctor of Education. 
  • He addressed Dr. Biden as "Madame First Lady - Mrs. Biden-Jill-kiddo". 
  • His disrespectful address received excessive criticism on Twitter. "Kiddo" became a trending topic on Twitter.
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2003.

WRITINGS:

  • Divorced in America: Marriage in an Age of Possibility, Dutton (New York, NY), 1974, published as Divorce, the American Experience, Cape (London, England), 1975.
  • Familiar Territory: Observations on American Life (addresses, essays, lectures), Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1979.
  • Ambition: The Secret Passion, Dutton (New York, NY), 1980.
  • (Editor, and author of introduction) Masters: Portraits of Great Teachers, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1981.
  • The Middle of My Tether: Familiar Essays, Norton (New York, NY), 1983.
  • Plausible Prejudices: Essays on American Writing, Norton (New York, NY), 1985.
  • Once More Around the Block: Familiar Essays, Norton (New York, NY), 1987.
  • Partial Payments: Essays on Writers and Their Lives, Norton (New York, NY), 1989.
  • A Line Out for a Walk: Familiar Essays, Norton (New York, NY), 1991.
  • The Goldin Boys: Stories, Norton (New York, NY), 1991.
  • Pertinent Players: Essays on the Literary Life, Norton (New York, NY), 1993.
  • With My Trousers Rolled, Norton (New York, NY), 1995.
  • (Editor) The Norton Book of Personal Essays, Norton (New York, NY), 1997.
  • Life Sentences: Literary Essays, Norton (New York, NY), 1997.
  • (Editor) Portraits: A Gallery of Intellectuals, by Edward Shils, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1997.
  • Anglophilia, American Style, Institute of United States Studies (London, England), 1997.
  • Narcissus Leaves the Pool: Familiar Essays, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1999.
  • Snobbery: The American Version, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.
  • Fabulous Small Jews: Stories, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2003.
  • Envy: The Seven Deadly Sins, New York Public Library (New York, NY), 2003.
  • Alexis De Tocqueville: Democracy's Guide, HarperCollins/Atlas (New York, NY), 2006.
  • Friendship: An Exposé, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2006.
  • In a Cardboard Belt! Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2007.

Joseph Epstein

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

Joseph Epstein Net Worth

Joseph Epstein is an essayist, short-story writer, editor, and a retired lecturer. He worked as a lecturer for 25 years of his life. During this period, he wrote numerous, essays, short stories, and columns. He made his fortune from his writing as well as his teaching career. His net worth will be updated soon. 

Did You Know?

  • His father came to Chicago, the United States from Montreal, Canada at the age of 17.