THIS IS THE STORY of a lifelong love affair with journalism, of newspapers in their heyday and a boy who grew to manhood incurably intoxicated with everything about them. Few who have fallen under the spell of newsrooms at deadline and the sound of a newspaper’s presses gathering speed, growing from a slow rumble to a thunderous roar, have ever been cured of that addiction. Certainly not I.

There also is a second, even more personal story here: that of how a skinny, timid, unathletic Jewish kid from Queens, New York, an immigrant’s son, somehow eventually developed the poise and self-confidence to lead a Fortune 500 publishing company, with ten thousand employees producing daily newspapers and electronic news services around the ...

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