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A quiz: You know his books, but do you know Arthur Frommer?

February 19, 2013|By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
  • Arthur Frommer will speak at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Arthur Frommer will speak at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show at 11 a.m.… (Christopher Reynolds /…)

Here’s a little secret you may not know about Arthur Frommer, who will speak from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at the two-day Los Angeles Times Travel Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center: He went with me to Europe for my first trip in 1975.

OK, he wasn’t actually there with me, but his guidebook did accompany me. Not only did he increase my knowledge of where I was going, but he also increased my confidence by giving me the information to get out of (or into) trouble for the five months I was studying and traveling abroad. It was great to have an expert with me.

But are you an expert on Frommer? Yes, his knowledge of the world of travel is encyclopedic. But his background and experience are fascinating as well. Here’s a short quiz on this wizard of the world.

1. Arthur Frommer was born in:

A Middleburg, Va.
B Littleton, Colo.
C Jefferson City, Mo.
D San Francisco

2. What did the young Arthur think upon learning that his father had taken a job in New York and that they would be moving?

A. He was excited to be on the East Coast, closer to Europe
B. He was worried about how cold it was going to be
C. He thought his life had ended and was unhappy about leaving his hometown
D. He was ecstatic about the culinary opportunities.

3. When he moved to New York, he got a job as:

A. A hot dog vendor in Times Square
B. A subway token taker in Brooklyn
C. A newspaper delivery boy in Queens
D. An office boy at Newsweek

4. Frommer studied law. From what law school did he graduate?

A. Yale
B. Harvard
C. University of Kansas-Lawrence
D. UC Berkeley

5. He also served in the military during the Korean War. Where was he stationed?

A. France
B. Germany
C. Seoul
D. Tokyo

6. What was his first guidebook?

A. "The Young Broke Traveler’s Guide to France"
B. "Europe on $5 a Day"
C. "Europe on $15 a Day"
D. "Around the World on a Budget"

7. What was Frommer doing when that guidebook came out?

A. Clerking for a law firm
B. Writing a newspaper column for the lovesick
C. Proofreading galleys for a New York book publisher
D. Writing a cookbook on European cuisine for a small publishing house

8. What does he believe about staying in high-end hotels?

A. They’re fine if you have the money but don’t go broke paying for one if it’s outside your budget.
B. You should only stay in places where you’ll meet other people like yourself. So if you’re rich, stay where the rich stay.
C. Big rooms and amenities are sheer nonsense. Stay in a guest house.
D. Budget accommodations are for people who aren’t bothered by bedbugs.

9. In a 2009 interview with travel writer Susan Spano, what did Frommer say was his favorite place?

A. London
B. Paris
C. Rome
C. Berlin

10. In what 2004 movie was Arthur Frommer depicted?

A. "To Rome, With Love"
B. "EuroTrip"
C. "National Lampoon’s Vacation 3"
D. "Midnight in Vienna"

Bonus question: What was the name of the actor who portrayed him?

A.  Patrick Malahide
B. Harold Darby
C . Jon Lovitz
D . Peter Boyle


1. C. Jefferson City, Mo.

2. C. He thought his life was over

3. D. An office boy at Newsweek

4. A. Yale

5. B. Germany

6. B. "Europe on $5 a Day"

7. A. Clerking for a law firm

8. C. In an interview with Times staff writer Susan Spano in 2009, he said, “I have always felt that the less you spend, the more you enjoy. The moment you put yourself in a first-class hotel you become walled-off from life, in a world devoted to creature comforts.”

9. B. Paris “Whenever I go back, I feel rejuvenated,” he told Spano.

10 B. "EuroTrip"

Bonus queston: A. Patrick Malahide

Your score

1-3: You need to read up on the guru and, better yet, attend his keynote.

4-5: You know a bit, but you’d benefit from attending his keynote address

6-7: Definitely a Frommer fan; come bask in the glory at his keynote

8-9:  A Frommer master and you should be introducing him for his keynote

10-11: You might be a stalker

Source: Los Angeles Times and

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