First To Leave The Party: Salah Bachir

Entrepreneur Salah Bachir Releases Memoir First to Leave the Party: My Life with Ordinary People…Who Happen to be Famous

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Salah Bachir has added another title to his impressive resume: Author. During an extended hospitalization for complications following a kidney transplant, Bachir made the decision to share his anecdotes and stories, which had previously been reserved for personal social media updates to pass the time during recovery, with the world. His memoir, First to Leave the Party: My Life with Ordinary People…Who Happen To Be Famous, gives readers a captivating look at his extraordinary life from his childhood in Lebanon and Canada to his friendships with some of the biggest names in Old Hollywood and pop culture. Co-written with former New York Post and Daily News film critic Jami Bernard, the book highlights encounters that manage to humanize its subjects: a laid-back barbecue with Marlon Brando, trying on jewelry with the Elizabeth Taylor, a trip to Niagara Falls with the legendary Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and getting turned down, respectfully, by Katharine Hepburn to name a few.

Known for pushing boundaries, Bachir has done it again with his memoir, the first of its kind to feature the author’s pronouns on the cover. Continuing his commitment to philanthropy, a portion of the proceeds will go to the LGBTQ rights program at Human Rights Watch. It is available now on Amazon or wherever books are sold. Select excerpts from the book, which has received effusive praise from the likes of Elton John, David Furnish, Kim Cattrall, Margaret Atwood, and Alan Cumming among many others are included below. 

“ Ella wanted kibbe? She would get it, and more. I asked my mother to make her some, and Mom went all out—not just kibbe, but side dishes to go with it, just like a Lebanese table spread out with mezze. 

Everything she made for Ella, she made with a Lebanese twist. I saw to it that she used the finest ingredients, finer even than she would buy for our family. The fresh fruits and vegetables came from her garden, of course, but I canvased specialty stores for the best cuts of beef, organic this and that, and then sat in the parking lot peeling the price stickers off my purchases. My mother never would have paid even half of what I spent on pine nuts.” —Ella Fitzgerald likes my mom’s kibbe. 

“I can remember us sitting around on a beautiful summer night at Norman’s beloved film center—a gracious estate in north Toronto— telling stories my friends still talk about today. He would always start off with, “I’m just a storyteller . . . ,” and suddenly you’re hanging on

every word and we’d have to drag him away when a supposedly two- hour dinner began running toward midnight.” —Norman Jewison tells a story or three 

To learn more about Salah Bachir’s illustrious career and philanthropic endeavors, please visit: