Unexpected Meetings

Marilyn Monroe and Nikita Khrushchev. Mark Twain and Helen Keller.  Unexpected encounters of the famous and infamous.

This handout file photo shows President Richard Nixon, left, meeting with Elvis Presley on Dec. 21, 1970, in Washington. (AP/White House)

This handout file photo shows President Richard Nixon, left, meeting with Elvis Presley on Dec. 21, 1970, in Washington. (AP/White House)

People meet all the time.  But some meetings are more amazing to contemplate than others.  When Charlie Chaplin met Groucho Marx.  When Elvis met the Beatles.  When Proust met James Joyce.  When Princess Grace met Princess Diana.  When Marilyn Monroe met Frank Lloyd Wright.

My guest today has sewn together an incredible daisy chain of incredible meetings.  How they got together.  Who said what.  What Twain thought of Kipling.  Madonna of Martha Graham.  Sigmund Freud of Salvador Dali.

This hour, On Point:  Amazing meetings of the famous and infamous.

-Tom Ashbrook


Craig Brown, author of “Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal “In August 1910, Gustav Mahler was having marital problems with his much younger wife, Alma, and the composer made an appointment with Sigmund Freud. The two men met in the Netherlands at Leiden, where they went for a long walk, during which Freud suggested that Alma had a father fixation. Among other points of friction in the marriage, Mahler had forbidden her to write music.”

CNN “When Elvis Presley wrote Richard Nixon a few days before December 21, 1970, he had an explicit goal in mind. ‘Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out,’ wrote Presley. ‘I can and will do more good if I were made a Federal Agent at Large and I will help out by doing it my way though my communications with people of all ages.'”

Excerpt: “Hello Goodbye Hello: A Circle of 101 Remarkable Meetings”

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.


“Blue Suede Shoes” by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

“Chelsea Hotel” by Leonard Cohen

“Prelude in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 3” by Sergei Rachmaninoff

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