A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 18, 2017
“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by the way he eats jelly beans”

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) said in January 1981, just before he was inaugurated U.S. president, as reported by the Associated Press:

“‘You can tell a lot about a fella’s character’ by the way he eats jelly beans, Reagan said. Some people ‘pick out all of one color’ while others ‘just grab a handful.’”

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by the way he eats jelly beans” is the usual form of the Reagan quote.


Wikipedia: Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan (/ˈrɒnəld ˈwɪlsən ˈreɪɡən/; February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American politician and actor who was the 40th President of the United States, from 1981 to 1989. Before his presidency, he was the 33rd Governor of California, from 1967 to 1975, after a career as a Hollywood actor and union leader.
(...)
Reagan was a fan of Jelly Beans. He picked up the liking when he gave up pipe smoking. He would often have jars of the popular candy treat accessible during cabinet meetings.

14 January 1981, Pensacola (FL) News, “Reagan Bids Fond Farewell to California,” pg. 5A, cols. 1-2:
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Ronald Reagan, vowing to keep politics out of the Oval Office, bid farewell to California as a private citizen and was expected to heading east today await his inaugural.
(...)
At the luncheon, and earlier at the Los Angeles City Hall, Reagan was laden with resolutions, proclamations and gifts: a glass eagle and a glass jar filled with his favorite confection, jelly beans.

“You can tell a lot about a fella’s character” by the way he eats jelly beans, Reagan said. Some people “pick out all of one color” while others “just grab a handful.”

Reagan kept jelly beans in his Sacramento office when he was governor of California and he left no doubt he would keep a supply in the White House.

Google Books
The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations
By Robert Andrews
New York, NY: Columbia University Press
1992
Pg. 43:
You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by the way he eats jelly beans.
Ronald Reagan (b. 1911)
American president

Google Books
Who Was Ronald Reagan?
By Joyce Milton
New York, NY: Grosset & Dunlap
2005
Pg. ?:
“You can tell a lot about a person’s character from the way he eats jelly beans,” Reagan often said. Some people grabbed handfuls. Others carefully picked out their favorite colors. When Reagan ate jelly beans, it was usually a sign that his visitor had been talking too long.

Google Books
The Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations (Second Edition
Selected and annotated by Hugh Rawson and Margaret Miner
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2006
Pg. 106:
You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by the way he eats jelly beans. —Ronald Reagan, in The New York Times, Jan. 15, 1981

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 • Permalink