IN 1972, I WAS ELECTED president, chief operating officer, and a director of Dow Jones, remaining editorial director as well. That year was the best of times and the worst of times for me, or so it seemed then—and neither had anything to do with my promotion.

Taking the worst first: In that year I fell under a dark cloud of clinical depression. It was characterized by the usual accompaniments of depression—feelings of despair, worthlessness, and hopelessness. I visited a psychiatrist several times a week. He was a Freudian who mostly listened, but I became disillusioned with him. I theorized that I had nothing to be depressed about and that depression was likely caused by a chemical imbalance, perhaps inherited. I switched to my ...

Get Newspaperman: Inside the News Business at The Wall Street Journal now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.