Herb Caen was a Bay Area institution.  His daily column was as much of a part of San Francisco as cable cars or sourdough bread.  For sixty years, Caen pounded the keys of his Loyal Royal in celebration of his City, which he dubbed "Baghdad-by-the-Bay."  He was credited with coining the word "beatnik" back in 1958, and almost single-handedly abolished the term "Frisco."  The morning paper hasn't been the same since his death in 1997.

Caen also was the author of several best-selling books.  He would gladly autograph a copy when asked, and usually found something appropriate to personalize the inscription.

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Text and photographs (excluding those in public domain) © 2003-2012 by Mike Humbert.

Special thanks to my friend Bill Arney for allowing me to reproduce this 1994 Herb Caen column, which hung on his apartment wall for many years.