The Eleventh of Eleven Children

by Adam Sternbergh

He’s the eleventh of eleven children, born into a Catholic family in Charleston, South Carolina. He’s deaf in his right ear. His father was a doctor, and his mother stayed at home. When he was 10, his father and two of his older brothers were killed in a plane crash. Every night, he would listen to “The Ballad of Davy Crockett” before going to bed and it would make him cry. As a kid, he was fascinated by the geographically indistinct accents of TV news anchors, and he purposefully dropped his southern twang, because he sensed that Southerners got stereotyped as being dumb.


Adam Sternbergh, co-founder of Fametracker, is a frequent contributor to New York Magazine. His six sentences are taken from “Stephen Colbert Has America By The Ballots,” which profiled the Comedy Central star in New York’s October 16, 2006 issue.