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Jimmy Breslin (born October 17, 1930) is an Americanmarker journalist and author. He has written numerous novels, and columns of his have appeared regularly in various newspapers in his hometown of New York Citymarker. He was a regular columnist for the newspaper Newsday until his retirement on November 2, 2004, and still has occasional pieces there.


Born in Jamaica, New Yorkmarker, Breslin was a columnist for the New York Herald Tribune, the New York Daily News, Newsday, and other venues. When the Sunday supplement of the Tribune was reworked into New York magazine by editor Clay Felker in 1962, Breslin appeared in the new edition, which became "the hottest Sunday read in town."

Among his notable columns, perhaps the best known was published the day after John F. Kennedy's funeral, focusing on the man who had dug the president's grave. The column is indicative of Breslin's style, which often highlights how major events or the actions of those considered "newsworthy" affect the "common man."

He ran an unsuccessful campaign as an independent for the position of president of the New York City Council in 1969. He allied himself with Norman Mailer, who was running for the position of mayor at the same time, on a platform which proposed the secession of New York City from the rest of New York state. Both were soundly defeated.

Breslin's public profile in the '60s as a regular guy led to a brief stint as a TV pitchman for Piels Beer, most memorably in a bar room commercial where he intoned in his deep voice "Piels- it's a good drinkin' beer!".

His career as an investigative journalist led him to cultivate ties with various Mafia and criminal elements in the city, not always with positive results. In 1970, he was viciously attacked and beaten at The Suite, a restaurant then owned by Lucchese crime family associate Henry Hill. The attack was carried out by mobster Jimmy Burke, who objected to an article Breslin had written involving another member of the Lucchese family, Paul Vario. Though Breslin suffered an epistaxis and a major concussion, he survived the ordeal without any permanent injury. In 1977, at the height of the Son of Sam scare in New York Citymarker, the killer, who was later identified as David Berkowitz, addressed letters to Breslin. Excerpts from these were published and were later used in the Spike Lee film Summer of Sam, a film in which Breslin, portraying himself, bookends.

Breslin has received numerous accolades throughout his career. In 1985, he received a George Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting, while in 1986, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. After fellow Newsday columnist Ji-Yeon Mary Yuh described one of Breslin's articles as sexist, Breslin threw a tantrum in a newsroom, calling her a "slant-eyed cunt" and a "yellow cur", stating that "the fucking bitch doesn't know her place". While the Asian American and anti-hate groups forcefully decried Breslin's outburst, he went unpunished until he later went on to "call into the Howard Stern show to joke about his outburst and exchange jabs about Koreans". It was after his second act of insensitivity that led Newsday managing editor Anthony Marro to suspend Breslin, who then apologized.

He has been married twice. His first marriage, to Rosemary Dattolico, ended with her death in 1981. They had six children together: sons Kevin, James, Patrick and Christopher, and daughters Rosemary and Kelly. His daughter Rosemary died June 14, 2004 from a rare blood disease and his daughter Kelly, 44, died on April 21. 2009, four days after a cardiac arrhythmia in a New York Citymarker restaurant. Since 1982, he has been married to former New York City Council member Ronnie Eldridge.

Works include


  1. Digging John F. Kennedy's Grave Was An Honor: November 1963
  2. Helen Zia, Asian American Dreams, 2000
  3. Tony Kornheiser. The Real Jimmy Breslin. The Washington Post; May 9, 1990.
  4. Dorothy Ing Russell. Jimmy Breslin, Coward and Bully. The Washington Post. May 13, 1990
  5. Alex S. Jones. Breslin Is Given 2-Week Suspension. The New York Times. May 9, 1990.

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