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American newspaper columnist
Died when: 80 years 304 days
Star Sign: Aries
Herbert Eugene Caen (; April 3, 1916 – February 1, 1997) was a San Francisco humorist and journalist whose daily column of local goings-on and insider gossip, social and political happenings, painful puns, and offbeat anecdotes—"a continuous love letter to San Francisco"—appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle for almost sixty years (excepting a relatively brief defection to The San Francisco Examiner) and made him a household name throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. "The secret of Caen's success", wrote the editor of a rival publication, was: his outstanding ability to take a wisp of fog, a chance phrase overheard in an elevator, a happy child on a cable car, a deb in a tizzy over a social reversal, a family in distress and give each circumstance the magic touch that makes a reader an understanding eyewitness of the day's happenings. A special Pulitzer Prize called him the "voice and conscience" of San Francisco.