Marya Mannes (November 14, 1904 – September 13, 1990) was an American author and critic, known for her caustic but insightful observations of American life. Mannes also wrote under the pen name of, "Sec."[1]

Life and career

Mannes lived most of her life in New York City, where she was born.[2] Her brother was musician Leopold Mannes. Her parents, Clara (Damrosch) Mannes and David Mannes, founded the Mannes College of Music in New York. Her maternal grandfather was conductor Leopold Damrosch, and her maternal uncles were conductors Walter Damrosch and Frank Damrosch. Her father was Jewish; her mother was from a mostly Lutheran German family (and was of part Jewish descent through her own grandfather).[3]

Mannes was an editor at Vogue and later wrote prolifically for the magazines The Reporter and The New Yorker. Mannes published a number of books of essays, sharply and wittily critical of American society, including More in Anger: Some Opinions, Uncensored and Unteleprompted. She was a much-sought-after social commentator on radio and television. She hosted her own television show in 1959, I speak for myself.[citation needed]

Other books by Mannes included Subverse (1959), a satirical verse, Out of My Time (1971), an autobiography, and two novels, Message From a Stranger (1948), and They (1968).

Married three times, Mannes had one child who survived her.

She died in San Francisco, California.


  1. ^ "Marya Mannes, the Writer, Dies; Social Critic and Satirist Was 85". The New York Times. 15 September 1990. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  2. ^ According to her obituary in the New York Times
  3. ^ "Out of My Time - By Marya Mannes. Illustrated. 251 pp. New York - Doubleday and amp - Co. $7.95. - Review -". 28 November 1971. Retrieved 18 February 2016.