Famous Pipe Smokers
Throughout the years, pipe smoking has been a hobby for many public figures. Pipe smoking is seen as the symbol of a gentleman, a suave character with an affinity for the meticulous routine of puffing a pipe. Some famous pipe smokers you may have heard of are Bing Crosby, C.S. Lewis, and Arthur Miller. These men are significant in not only their works, for which they are commended, but also for being routine pipe smokers. When you think of these men, it makes complete sense that they would take on the pursuit of smoking a pipe. These men are leaders and inspirational public figures, people that represent what a pipe stands for - hardiness and perseverance.
Our first pipe smoker on the list is Bing Crosby. Bing Crosby is known for his baritone singing voice and charismatic personality. He is considered one of the greatest entertainers of all time with his innovation in acting, radio shows, and his memorable voice. Crosby is also known for being the most morale-boosting figure during World War II for “touring the United States and overseas, selling war bonds, and personally responding to thousands of letters written by servicemen and their families” (Sitts, 2021). Although Bing Crosby is most notably known for his singing and acting skills, he is quite well-known for being an avid pipe smoker. In fact, several pipe manufacturers have models and lines that are a tribute to the style of pipe Crosby smoked - a long-stemmed billiard. Even the tobacco manufacturer, Cornell and Diehl, developed a blend of tobacco with a “pleasant, vanilla taste and aroma,” (Sitts, 2021) which was very similar to a preferred blend of Bing Crosby. In the 1946 issue of Pipe Lovers Magazine, it is noted that Crosby’s pipe collection at the time had around 150 pipes! Crosby states that various servicemen throughout the years had sent him pipes from all over the world. In the article, Bing also mentions his favorite kind of tobacco to smoke, which is a “rought-cut and mildly aromatic” blend (Sitts, 2021). The legacy that Crosby left on this world through entertainment is also embedded in his pipe-smoking persona.
The next famous pipe smoker on the list is C.S. Lewis. You may know C.S. Lewis from his wildly famous books, The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis is considered a major contributor to Christian apologetics and world culture (Stanion, 2021). However, C.S. Lewis wasn’t always the inspiring theologian that he is most well-known for. Upon becoming fascinated with mythology, Lewis decided to become an atheist and abandon Christianity. After almost dying in World War II, due to being blasted with shrapnel from a shell, Lewis began to revisit Christianity because he felt a conviction that the Spirit might actually exist. Although, he did not completely abandon atheism after this life-altering event. Upon becoming close friends with Lord of the Rings author, J.R.R Tolkien, Lewis began to slowly come back to his Christian faith. Lewis and Tolkien were also avid pipe smokers, to which Lewis mentions his pipe as a “contributing element to his ongoing faith” (Stanion, 2021). According to the article, “C.S. Lewis: Pipe Smoking Biography,” Lewis’ main pipes that he smoked were Charatan and Comoy’s pipes most likely due to his location; however, there is limited evidence on the subject (Stanion, 2021). It is also noted that Lewis smoked the original Three Nuns tobacco. Although Lewis’ pipe smoking is a lot less notorious than that of Bing Crosby, it was still of utter importance in Lewis’ life.
The last famous pipe smoker on the list, although there are many more, is Arthur Miller. Miller was the husband of Marilyn Monroe, an acclaimed playwright, and an avid pipe smoker. During his sophomore year at college, Miller’s first play, No Villain, won him $250 and an Avery Hopwood award in Drama (Sitts, 2020). From this moment on, Arthur began learning playwriting techniques taught by Kenneth Thorpe Rowe. Some of Arthur’s most notable achievements are All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible. Early in life, Miller picked up the habit of pipe smoking. He was quite fond of the Dunhill bent billiard pipe and the Dunhill bulldog pipe, as well as Dunhill’s My Mixture tobacco blends. Through his hardships and tragedies, which I think attributed to his pipe smoking, Arthur took those tragedies and used them to “create plays that are relatable, memorable, and and timeless” (Sitts, 2020).
All three of these men have one thing in common, their beloved pipes. Each of these men depended on their pipes during significant times in their lives. Pipe smoking isn’t just a hobby for these men, it’s a routine that provides a sense of balance in their lives. From picking up the habit during their youth, to carrying it with them throughout each of their careers, these men turned to pipe smoking much like you turn to a friend in a time of need, for comfort and reflection.
Sitts, J. (2020, November 6). Arthur Miller: Playwright and Pipe Smoker. Smoking Pipes. Retrieved June 29, 2021, from https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/single.cfm/post/arthur-miller-playwright-and-pipe-smoker
Sitts, J. (2021, March 19). Bing Crosby: Singer, Actor, Pipe Smoker. Smoking Pipes. Retrieved June 29, 2021, from https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/single.cfm/post/bing-crosby-singer-actor-pipe-smoker
Stanion, C. (2021, June 18). C.S. Lewis: Pipe Smoking Biography. Smoking Pipes. Retrieved June 29, 2021, from https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/single.cfm/post/cs-lewis-inventor-worlds-smoker-pipes