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And now, This I Believe, a series of living philosophies presented in the hope they may help to strengthen and enrich your life. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Eddie Cantor came from the Lower East Side of New York City to the top of the entertainment world. At 62, he is indefatigable, as a comedian and as a humanitarian. Here are the personal beliefs of Eddie Cantor.
I'll never forget the first time I went to a buffet supper. The fancy dishes were too much for me. After a bad attack of indigestion, I concluded simple foods were best. So it has been with life. I suffered mental and spiritual indigestion until I stuck to staples--work, family, faith. It's been a
winning combination for me.
My family was the inspiration for my work. My work has been a success because of my partner. In show business, I'm known as a single act. This is not true. Every step of the way, I walked hand in hand with faith.
This partnership began, I think, because as a child, we only had one book in the house: The Bible. I took every word literally. If little David, with God's help, could slay the giant Goliath, it would be an easy matter for me to overcome poverty and lack of education. I tried to follow all the precepts of the good book. But one in particular appealed to me, perhaps because of its practical aspects: "Cast
thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after many days." I made it my guide.
In October of 1949, when I had the choice of doing a guest shot on radio or playing a benefit for refugee children at Grossinger's Hotel in the Catskills, I referred to my guide and chose Grossinger's. My bread came back to me not after many days, but that very night. I found Eddie Fisher, a boy who added much to my shows and brought me great personal happiness.
One time, when I was starring in a Ziegfeld show, opening night fell on Yom Kippur, a high holy day for the Jews. I could not open. Did I suffer? No. A Jewish organization applauded this decision by sending a check to my pet project, Surprise Lake Camp, where poor children are given a holiday in the country.
My life has been a series of proofs that The Bible is not only a literary masterpiece, but a workable theory for living.
Running a close second to this book with all the answers has been my family. In an often insecure world, this was my haven--the one element I knew was unchanging. In good times, their pride in my accomplishments was a never-ending source of joy. In bad, the inspiration to push forward.
I'll never forget 1929; everything I had was swept away. My spirit might have gone with my assets if it hadn't been for my wife and children. Their confidence in my ability to succeed again made me ashamed to settle for less. This is only one instance. In my forty years of marriage, my wife has never failed
me. Each of my five daughters is a person I'd be proud to know if she were not my child. I've been happy most of my life because of these things, in which I believe: work, family, faith.
Those were the personal beliefs of Eddie Cantor. His is one of the outstanding statements which appear in the new This I Believe book, now at your bookstore.