Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Straight Dope
Cecil Adams is the author of "The Straight Dope", a weekly newspaper column he has been writing since 1973. The concept is straightforward: Readers ask trivia questions -- Why are there 24 hours in a day? How do porcupines have sex? What does the 'H' stand for in Jesus H. Christ? -- and Adams provides well-researched and impeccably accurate answers, with occasional smart-ass asides.
There's only one question Adams won't answer: Who is Cecil Adams? Or rather, he will answer, but only to explain that Adams is the world's most intelligent human being, who knows everything and is never wrong. Whether Adams is the author's real name or a nom de plume is known only by the author and the Chicago Reader, which publishes the column. Adams' longtime editor at the Reader is Ed Zotti, and when Zotti's photo accompanied a profile of Adams in American Libraries magazine, there was speculation that Zotti might be Adams or vice versa. Zotti, however, joined the Reader after Adams had already been writing the column for several years, and Adams remains adamant that the author "has never been photographed". A short-lived television version of The Straight Dope appeared on A&E cable in 1996, hosted by comedian Mike Lucas, who is also presumably not Adams.
"Straight Dope" columns have been compiled into several books, such as The Straight Dope, More of the Straight Dope, Return of the Straight Dope, The Straight Dope Tells All, etc. Adams' motto is "Fighting ignorance since 1973 (it's taking longer than we thought)".
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