Author, Journalist, and Social Observer Fran Lebowitz to Speak on February 22 as Part of William Paterson University Distinguished Lecturer Series

Fran Lebowitz, whose essays and interviews offer her acerbic views on current events and the media, will bring her insightful social commentary to William Paterson University in Wayne on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 as part of the 41st season of the University’s Distinguished Lecturer Series.

The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Shea Center for Performing Arts on campus. Tickets for the lecture are $50 for Gold Circle seating, $40 for Orchestra and Front Loge, and $25 for Rear Loge. Discounts are available for senior citizens and for William Paterson faculty, staff, and alumni. Admission is free for William Paterson students with a valid ID on the day of the event.

Lebowitz stands out as one of the country’s most insightful social commentators. Her topics range pet peeves including tourists, baggage-claim areas, after-shave lotion, adults who roller skate, children who speak French, or anyone who is unduly tan, in addition to current events and the media. Known as a purveyor of urban cool, Lebowitz is a cultural satirist whom many call the heir to Dorothy Parker. Her off-the-cuff thoughts are pointed, taut, and economical, yet equally forthright, irascible, and unapologetically opinionated.  

Her big break came when she was hired by Andy Warhol as a columnist for Interview. That was followed by a stint at Mademoiselle. Her first book, a collection of essays titled Metropolitan Life, was a bestseller, as was a second collection, Social Studies. By turns ironic, facetious, deadpan, sarcastic, wry, wisecracking, and waggish, Lebowitz’s prose is wickedly entertaining. She is also the author of the children’s book, Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas.  

Between 2001 to 2007, Lebowitz had a recurring role as Judge Janice Goldberg on the television drama Law & Order. She also had a part in the Martin Scorsese-directed film, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). Lebowitz has long been a regular on various talk shows including those hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien, and Bill Maher.  

In 2010 Martin Scorsese directed a documentary about Lebowitz for HBO titled Public Speaking. A limited documentary series, Pretend It's a City, also directed by Martin Scorsese, premiered on Netflix in 2021, and was nominated for a Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series” category. In 2021, she was given the Forte dei Marmi Festival della Satira Lifetime Achievement Award and was a 2021 Foreign Press Honorary Awardee – an award given by the Foreign Press Correspondents Association & Club USA. 

Lebowitz was named to Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 2008 and she remains a style icon.

William Paterson University’s Distinguished Lecturer Series is in its 41st season of bringing leading personalities from the worlds of politics, government, the arts, literature, sports, science, and business, along with original programs, to the University’s campus in Wayne. In the four-decade history of the series, more than 175 public figures, including British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, actor and playwright Anna Deveare Smith, former New York Yankee and musician Bernie Williams, and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, have made presentations to 100,000 audience members.

To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact William Paterson University’s Shea Center Box Office at, call 973.720.2371 or visit