Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Memory of “Punch”

I once met Punch Sulzberger, the long-time publisher of The New York Times. It was no big deal. Here's the comment I posted to his obituary.
After getting out the army in the summer of 1956, I worked in market research. One assignment was to call on New York business leaders and ask them how our airline client could improve its printed flight schedules. 
Business big-shots were more accessible in those days, but I struck out at The New York Times. "You cannot go up to the elder Mr. Sulzberger's office," a gatekeeper told me. He gestured down a hall. "Why don't you talk with young Mr. Sulzberger."
I headed toward the back of the ground floor. The office of young Mr. Sulzberger looked like a small storeroom. He received me graciously, answered my questions, and impressed me as a level-headed sort.
In 1963, when fate propelled him into the publisher's position, I had a hunch he'd do better than people expected.
Always nice to be proved right. 

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