Sidney Offit papers
- Offit, Sidney, 1928- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Researchers may not quote from the minutes or correspondence in Series 3 (personal correspondence), Series 4 (P.E.N. America Center), and Series 5 (Author's Guild) until 5 years after DONOR's death.
Restrictions on photocopying and quotations apply to Series 3, Series 4, and Series 5.
Researchers may not publish more than a paragraph excerpted from personal correspondence or journals until 5 years after the DONOR's death.
68.46 Cubic Feet (45 record center cartons, 18 letter size document boxes, 1 letter half-size document box, 2 legal half-size document boxes, 1 flat box (20.5 x 14.5 x 1.5 inches), 4 flat boxes (15.5 x 12 x 3 inches), 1 flat box (15.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches), 1 flat box (21 x 17 x 1.5 inches), 2 oversize boxes (19 x 13 x 6 inches), 1 custom box (16.5 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches))
Sidney Offit graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 1950. At Hopkins, he was editor of the News-Letter, a member of the debating club, and secretary of the Tudor and Stuart Club. Offit's early years in Baltimore and undergraduate years at Hopkins sometimes served as background in his novels for young readers. In The Adventures of Homer Fink (1966), one of Offit's most successful books for young readers, the adventurer is the son of a Johns Hopkins classics professor.
Soon after graduation Offit moved to New York City. He began his literary career in the publishing business as an editorial assistant for Mercury Publications (1952-1953) and McFadden Publishers (1953- 1954). Offit contributed to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Mercury Mysteries. Offit, writer and sports fan, was named contributing editor to Baseball Magazine (1955-1958). He edited The Best of Baseball (1956), an anthology of writings from the magazine, which has the distinction of being included in the library of baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. During the 1960s and 1970s, Offit wrote several well-received novels for younger readers including Soupbone (1963), Topsy Turvy (1965) , Only a Girl Like You (1972), and What Kind of Guy Do You Think I Am? ( 1977). During this period he was also a columnist for the New York Observer.
Sidney Offit has been a member of the faculty of New York University since 1964 and was named adjunct professor of creative writing in 1977. Since 1965 he has been a lecturer in creative writing at the New School for Social Research. He was an editor of Intellectual Digest (1970-1974) and book editor for Politics Today (1978-1980). In 1977, Offit was named curator for the George Polk Awards for Journalism. He has been a member of and has served on the executive boards of the Authors Guild, Authors League, and the American Center of PEN (Poets, Playwright, Essayists, Editors, Novelists). He was an international delegate for PEN 1971, 1972, and 1974. He is a member of the Century Association and the Coffee House in New York City.
Successful as both author and teacher, Offit entered the medium of television in 1975. He was paired with Dr. Martin Abend, professor of political geography at Jersey City State College and a staunch political conservative. The ideologically opposed pair engaged in a series of televised debates on social, political, and economic issues. The debates were televised on Channel 5 NYC for ten years and were brought back briefly in 1992 on Channel 11 NYC.
Along with the many literary and teaching obligations, Offit has participated well in the civic life of his New York City neighborhood. He has served on a District School Board and was president of the 19th Precinct Community Council. For his achievements as teacher, communicator, and citizen, Offit has received commendations from the N.Y. State Legislature (1983), the N.Y.C. Council (1983), and a particular award from the Police Athletic League (1991) for his service to children.
Sidney Offit's most recent work, Memoir of the Bookie's Son, published by St. Martin's Press (1995) was described by the publisher as "defining a complex father-son relationship with extraordinary sensitivity and warmth." The book was very well-received by critics, friends, and other authors, many of whom expressed their appreciation in personal letters to the author.
Sidney Offit successfully manages a literary life, a teacher's life, a family and civic life, and he has attained the respect of colleagues, friends, students, and his many readers. Offit has been married since 1953 to Avodah (Avi) Komito Offit, a writer and psychiatrist, who practices in New York City. Dr. Avodah Offit is the author of Night Thoughts (1981) and Virtual Love (1994) . The Offits are the parents of two sons, Michael and Kenneth.
Sidney Offit's gift to the University included a collection of Century Association Yearbooks (1972- 1995) representing his membership in the Century Club, New York City. The yearbooks have been cataloged and added to Rare Books, Special Collections.
- American Center of P.E.N.
- Authors Guild Foundation (U.S.)
- Authors, American
- College teachers
- George Polk Awards
- Johns Hopkins University
- New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997)
- New York University
- Offit, Avodah K.
- Offit, Sidney, 1928-
- Theater programs
- United States
- Universities and colleges--Alumni and alumnae
- clippings (information artifacts)
- magazines (periodicals)
- students projects
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA