Literary Birthday: Nora Ephron

Like many writers, Nora Ephron (born today in 1941) started out as a journalist. She was a researcher at Newsweek and a cub reporter at a pre-Rupert Murdoch New York Post, where on her first day she was sent to the Coney Island Aquarium to write about a pair of seals who were supposed to mate but had so far refused to. Unlike many writers, she was married at one point to Carl Bernstein.

Her novel Heartburn (1983) was based in large part on Bernstein’s affair with another woman while Ephron was pregnant. In 2005, Ephron wrote that not only she had figured out on her own the identity of Bernstein and Woodward’s Watergate source “Deep Throat” (FBI associate director Mark Felt) years before he came clean about it, but that she had been telling people so for years: “Not for nothing is indiscretion my middle name.”