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James Beard: The closeted gay life of the man behind the award

September 28, 2020

"At 66, with his neighborhood, and the world, changed literally overnight, James was terrified of coming out, of shaking off the fiction of perpetual bachelorhood," John Birdsall writes in his new biography "The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard" (W.W. Norton & Company), out Oct. 6. "Queer men and women of James' generation in the village had everything to lose and weren't convinced they had anything to gain."