This is a short note on the famous American journalist Frank McKinney Hubbard, aka Kin Hubbard (1868-1930), who was contemporary to the prominent Iranian scholar Ali Akbar Dehkhoda (1879-1959).
HIS LIFE: Like Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, known as the Iranian linguist, author of the most extensive dictionary of the Persian Language (aka Loghat Nameh-e-Dehkhoda), a journalist, and a writer of satirical pieces (with a pen name of Dakho), Kin Hubbard was also a humorist, philosopher, cartoonist, an all-class journalist, and he was the creator of the cartoon character of Abe Martin, a home-cured philosopher.
For twenty-five years, from 1905-1930, Abe Martin was the mouthpiece for Kin Hubbard’s daily jokes in The Indianapolis News, which, accompanied by sketches of Abe and his friends in action. It should be noted that The Indianapolis News was an evening newspaper published for 130 years (from December 1869 to October 1999), and at one time it had the largest circulation in the state of Indiana, and was the oldest Indianapolis newspaper in existence.
Fascinated by theater, Hubbard once wrote to one of his peers about a show, and beautified his remarks with some drawings. His peer impressed by Hubbard’s artwork, showed the drawings to the editor of the Indianapolis News, and that paved the way for Hubbard’s future career. Hired in 1891, Hubbard stayed with the News for three years, and he then took several small jobs. He returned to the News in 1901, and he stayed there until he died of a heart attack on December 26, 1930. Will Rogers (1879-1935) who has been known as a famous American comedian, humorist, social commentator, performer, and actor highly respected Hubbard and named him as the “America’s greatest humorist”. On December 27, 1930 Will Rogers referred to the quotations by Kin Hubbard and wrote that, “Just think, only two lines a day in that newspaper, yet he expressed more original philosophy in those quotations than all the rest of the paper combined”.
HIS QUOTATIONS: Here is a list of 50 quotations, which have been attributed to Kin Hubbard:
1. A bee is never as busy as it seems; it is just that it cannot buzz any slower.
2. A good listener is usually thinking about something else.
3. A loafer always has the correct time.
4. An optimist is a fellow who believes what is going to be will be postponed.
5. As to those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in God’s path, give them, then, the tidings of a painful agony: on a day when these things shall be heated in hell-fire, and their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs shall be branded therewith.
6. Being an optimist after you have got everything you want does not count.
7. Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.
8. Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune.
9. Do not knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it did not change once in a while.
10. Every once in a while someone without a single bad habit gets caught.
11. Getting talked about is one of the penalties for being pretty, while being above suspicion is about the only compensation for being homely.
12. Honesty pays, but it does not seem to pay enough to suit some people.
13. If some people did not tell you, you would never know they had been away on a vacation.
14. If there is anything a public servant hates to do it is something for the public.
15. If you have not seen your wife smile at a traffic cop, you have not seen her smile her prettiest.
16. It is not a bad plan to keep still occasionally even when you know what you are talking about.
17. It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.
18. It is not enough for you to love money; it is also necessary that money should love you.
19. It used to be that a fellow went on the police force when everything else failed, but today he goes in the advertising game.
20. It is going to be fun to watch and see how long the meek can keep the earth after they inherit it.
21. It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.
22. It is the good loser who finally loses out.
23. It is what a fellow thinks he knows that hurts him.
24. Kindness goes long ways lots of times when it ought to stay at home.
25. Lack of pep is often mistaken for patience.
26. Listening is the only way to entertain some folks.
27. Live so that you can at least get the benefit of the doubt.
28. Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny.
29. Men are not punished for their sins, but by their sins.
30. No one can feel as helpless as the owner of a sick goldfish.
31. No woman can be gorgeous by the force of features alone; any more that she can be witty by only the help of speech.
32. Nobody can be as agreeable as an uninvited guest.
33. Nothing is as irritating as the fellow who chats pleasantly while he is overcharging you.
34. Now and then an innocent man is sent to the legislature.
35. Of all the home remedies, a good wife is best.
36. Peace has its victories no less than war, but it does not have as many monuments to unveil.
37. Some folks can look so busy doing nothing that they seem indispensable.
38. The entire world loves a good loser.
39. The fellow that agrees with everything you say is either a fool or he is getting ready to skin you.
40. The fellow that owns his own home is always just coming out of a hardware store.
41. The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.
42. The height of ability consists in a thorough knowledge of the real value of things, and of the genius of the age in which we live.
43. The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them.
44. The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.
45. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.
46. There is no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man who did not tell you about it?
47. Universal peace sounds ridiculous to the head of an average family.
48. We become actors without realizing it, and actors without wanting to.
49. We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate.
50. When a fellow says, 'It is not the money but the principle of the thing,' it is the money.
BARTLETT, J. (1992): Familiar Quotations, ed., Little Brown and Company, Boston, USA.
BROWN COUNTY STATE PARK WEBSITE (2006): Online Article on “Abe Martin History”.
LAMBIEK NET (2007): Online Article on “Kin Hubbard”.
ROGERS, W. (1930): The Article on “Quotations by Kin Hubbard”, the New York Times, NY, USA.
VARIOUS SOURCES (2007): Notes on “Ali Akbar Dehkhoda”.
WIKIPEDIA ENCYCLOPEDIA (2007): Online Article on “Kin Hubbard”.