Cousins, Norman,1915–90, American editor and author, b. Union City, N.J. He was (1934–35) a newspaper editorial writer and historical magazine editor (1935–40) before beginning his long association with the Saturday Review magazine. Under his direction (1942–71; 1973–77) it expanded from a literary magazine to a review of all aspects of contemporary life. Cousins was an advocate of various liberal causes, particularly of nuclear disarmament, which he promoted as a writer and a citizen-activist. His books include Modern Man Is Obsolete (1945), Who Speaks for Man? (1953), and Present Tense (1967). After his successful battle with a life-threatening illness, he became convinced of the value of positive attitudes and behaviors on human healing. He dealt with this subjects in such books as Anatomy of an Illness (1979), The Healing Heart (1983), and Head First: The Biology of Hope (1989).
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Cousins, Norman(?1915–90) editor, humanitarian, author; born in Union Hill, N.J. As editor of the Saturday Review of Literature (later simply Saturday Review) (1942–71, 1973–77), he broadened its scope to include all the arts and many social concerns, thus expanding its audience. He himself was active in promoting various educational, humanitarian, and world-peace initiatives. His popular book, Anatomy of an Illness (1979), described his experience in drawing on his emotions—specifically laughter—to overcome illness; he took up the cause of holistic health, even teaching at the medical school of the University of California.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.