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Careers and Life Paths

Myron Kandel

— The major colleges in New York City each had a campus correspondent. And traditionally the editor of the college newspaper would turn it over to the next. And I remember as a relatively new student talking to Arthur Lack, who was the penultimate editor of the Vanguard, and he said, "Would you be interested?" And I said, "Oh sure I would," you know, when the time comes. And when it was time for him to graduate he said, "Are you still interested?" and I said, "I sure am." And he said, "Well, nobody else has asked me." And Lack introduced me to the city editor of the New York Times, and I would write these little stories. And that started my whole career.

Bill Taylor

— I had a lot of fun. I mean, I think I learned some things. To this day I love to edit and people tell me I'm a pretty good editor.

Al Lasher

— I started teaching and I needed to have a Master's degree. So I said, "I'll get a Master's degree in journalism. I like journalism, with the Vanguard I had a great time, and it'll apply,” because I was an English teacher. So I applied to the School of Journalism at Columbia and I got a couple of people to support my candidacy — a journalism teacher at Brooklyn College who worked at the Times, and the editor of a weekly paper that I worked on in New York. The Bronx Press Review was the name of the paper, I used to write a neighborhood gossip column — not exactly gossip, neighborhood news. So I went to the graduate school of journalism at Columbia.

Myron Kandel

— In April of '51, I get the job as a weekend copy boy. In those days the New York Times had an eight column format. Four columns of editorials, or five maybe, including some editorials of lesser importance. And i discovered any member of the staff, no matter how lowly, could write editorials. And so I stayed late one night and I wrote an editorial on how to end the Korean War. And they didn't use it. And I was a little upset until I realized that they probably weren't counting on me to tell how to end the Korean War. But there were other editorials that they might be more amenable to. And so in the course of that summer, I wrote three editorials that were published in The New York Times, and it really was mind-blowing because I always thought these venerable old-timers who sat up in an ivory tower somewhere. The first editorial was on the subject of giving blood. The second was on supporting UNESCO, and the third was on the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. And they all ran and I got paid fifteen dollars for each one. And during the summer I would meet friends from Brooklyn, some of them from Vanguard, and they'd say, "What are you doing?" "I'm working at The Times." and they'd say, "Oh. You doing any writing?" 'cause that was the question everybody would be interested in. And I said, "Well, I've written a few editorials." And they'd look at me sure that I was just boasting and lying. You know? I stopped saying it because nobody believed me.

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Harry Baron

— After I got out of Brooklyn I got a job in South Carolina as a beginning reporter. It was a cold thing. I saw an ad in Editor and Publisher. I pick up the phone, call the number, and I say, “I'm the guy,” you know, “I read your ad.” And the guy says, “Fine. When can you come down?” Well, we made a date and I got on the train and I say, “Oh my God! What am I walking into?” But it worked out beautifully. Not to blow my own horn, but in a South Carolina town of twenty-five thousand, for them to get a New York-educated guy in journalism, man, that was way ahead of the game. I had a Brooklyn College education. Let's not knock it. Vanguard, that trained me. And I did very well down there.

Myron Kandel

— And it was really — the standards of that newspaper, as I look back, were extremely high. And that stood me in very good stead because what you learn at the beginning of a career is so important providing the fundamentals and the base. And also we cared about accuracy and we cared about fairness, which I've, you know, espoused as the fundamental principles of being a good journalist. I still feel that I never learned more about the business of journalism than I did at that cub class at Brooklyn College.

Ann Lane

— When I look at the reunions there are far fewer women. And it may be the women got lost because they married out, and the men hung in. It is astonishing to me how many men are still in media or living on the East Coast, most of them around the New York area and some in Washington. And the women are doing odder things or more un-media things than the men. It really turned out to be a career choice for the men in ways that I don't think it did for the women.