“Famous Nathan” book released

“Famous Nathan: A Family Saga of Coney Island, the American Dream, and the Search for the Perfect Hot Dog” a book by Lloyd Handwerker, a grandson of Nathan Handwerker, the founder of Nathan’s famous was released yesterday. Lloyd Handwerker will give a talk about the book tonight at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn.

In the book, Lloyd Handwerker corroborates the claim made by Mortimer Matz in a 2010 New York Times interview that the 1916 origin story for Nathan’s is a fabrication.

(image from page 5 of the book)
update Jun 23Daily Beast has an article about the book with this paragraph about the contest:

So, what would Nathan have thought about the modern-day popularity of the hot dog eating contest? Lloyd was a bit hesitant when I asked him. “Some of the old timers are disgusted by it,” he admitted. While he wasn’t sure if his grandfather would have agreed with them, he “couldn’t deny the advertising impact on the company.” But on the other-hand “he hated waste” and each night he even inspected the garbage to see what people weren’t finishing.

Comments (15)


  1. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 2:13 am

    You want to know the truth behind it? Its all bullshit and a clever selling point by public relations firms to sell the product. If the contest was actually held in 1916 you would have had to contact the participants in the event to confirm during the 1950’s or 60’s or maybe early 70’s because more than likely they were still middle aged during that period. I think the most accurate account is the modern version event dates from the early 70’s

  2. Anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 7:14 am

    I do not see any image from the book but thank you for all of the information. The writing looks like a true history and not a promotional book though both can be accomplished if the book stands on its own as a story.

  3. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 9:56 am

    i was never a fan of fiction or fables . Never read a fictional book in my entire life because i don’t believe in fiction

  4. Anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 10:39 am

    213 who cares its all for fun anyway

  5. Reader said

    June 23, 2016 @ 11:51 am

    The only fiction would be a book claiming seiken was a good eater

  6. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

    I know but there are some besides myself that take it serous . If you want to be more realistic about the contest , it was probably held throughout the last 10 decades but not on a yearly basis. When July 4th rolled around a Nathans rep who worked in Coney restaurant set up an out door table and asked bystanders if they wanted to compete in the contest for fun. The last 4 decades is probably when they decided to take it a bit more seriously

  7. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 12:29 pm

    I see Goldstein is back. Expect more roach and hygiene comments any day now. No life whatsoever

  8. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 12:30 pm

    Goldstein probably competed as a teen in 1916

  9. Anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 1:20 pm

    Oh give me a break… you take the history of a fucking hot dog contest “serous”.

    Do you get upset every holiday season when the term “Santa Claus” is thrown around as if he is a real person?

  10. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 4:20 pm

    Not Goldstein commenting, is he did it would be about 13-2 for debris = 11 hotdog total at Citifield.

  11. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 7:38 pm

    Tell us another one. Its always Goldstein. Please

  12. Not seiken said

    June 23, 2016 @ 7:46 pm

    After competing next to Yasir on sunday i can see why Goldstein retired after Nathans qualifier in Charlotte. Out classed by not only a better eater than he is but a more physically fit eater than he is

  13. anonymous said

    June 23, 2016 @ 10:37 pm

    Goldstein could have competed next to Seiken in Charlotte and still retired after that contest win, lose or draw. That was the plan.

  14. anonymous said

    June 24, 2016 @ 7:52 pm

    I think Myers looked more physically fit than Seiken. Plus he beat him 15.5 to 13 (minus 2 for debris)=11

  15. anonymous said

    June 24, 2016 @ 9:23 pm

    Seiken posted a pic of him and Goldstein holding 3lb burritos from pienadas restaurant from 2005.In that pic Goldstein looks 55. Imagine how old he looks now at 65?

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