My Blue Ribbon Father: An Addendum
Ben Stein

Dear Aram,

Thank you humbly. In further answer to your kind letter noting that my father was a beer drinker, as revealed in my Father’s Day Essay

In 1944, when my father was a U.S. Navy LTJG, Pabst Blue Ribbon had a contest for the best essay on how to keep the U.S. from sliding back into Depression after WWII. Every economist in the country entered. My father, age 28, sent in a short essay composed on a portable typewriter while in his tiny quarters. He won first prize, which was $25,000, a staggering sum in 1944. This earned him the undying hatred of the more well-known economists of the day.

Under the laws of the day, he had to pay more than half in income taxes. To show his patriotism, he invested the rest in 2 Percent U.S. War Bonds. Had he put it in a diversified way in the stock market, he would by, say, 1966, have been a well-to-do man. But he was a patriot and he never regretted his decision, And our fridge was always well stocked with Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Love, Ben


Ben Stein
Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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