Ralph Schoenstein, Purveyor of Wry Humor

Ralph Schoenstein

hide captionRalph Schoenstein was an accomplished magazine and book author before he became a commentator for All Things Considered.

Perseus Books Group

Ralph Schoenstein, a longtime All Things Considered commentator, died Thursday in Philadelphia at 73. Over the past decade, Schoenstein's commentaries explored topics ranging from incessant worrying to cigarette smoke and from aging to the state of New Jersey.

Schoenstein came to All Things Considered later in his life — after a long career writing for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Newsday, New York Daily News and Playboy. He also wrote books for celebrities including Joan Rivers, Charles Osgood and Ed McMahon. Bill Cosby's Fatherhood was ghost written by Ralph Schoenstein.

His own books included The Block, about his childhood neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Toilet Trained for Yale and the best-selling The I-Hate-Preppies Handbook.

Robert Siegel has an appreciation of Schoenstein's life and work.

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