I’m very saddened to write this notice that Fred Morton has passed away. I knew him from Elaine’s going back almost thirty years. Even up til the end of Elaine’s, Fred, a literary giant who was quite humble and self effacing, would bounce in for dinner wearing tennis shoes. He never looked his age, ever. He was a little older than Elaine Kaufman, our bounteous godmother. She’d always say, “Can you believe it? You’d never guess how old he is!”
Fred’s high status at Elaine’s was because he’d written the book on “The Rothschilds” that became the basis for the Broadway musical with Hal Linden. He was a highly entertaining conversationalist, and knew things that were going on — just a little good gossip. I’d say he was one of the most welcome diners in the eatery’s history, and a dear dear man.
Here is his New York Times obit today by Bruce Weber. It’s ironic of course that Fred escaped Austria as a child, only to die there in a hotel room while on a visit. He’s one of those people that will be sorely missed, and always remembered fondly.