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James B. Reston
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Commentator
    (November 3, 1909-December 6, 1995)
    Born in Clydebank, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Reporter for the New York Times (1939-43,1945-87)
    Served at the Times as associate editor (1964-68), executive editor (1969-69) and vice-president (1969-74)
    Wrote a nationally syndicated column (1974-87)
    Wrote the books 'Prelude to Victory' (1942), 'The Artillery of the Press' (1967), 'Sketches in the Sand' (1967) and 'Deadline' (1991)
    Won two Pulitzer Prizes (1945,1957)
    Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1986)
    He was a procrastinator who often filed his stories just before the deadline.
    Many of the papers on his desk had scorch marks from discarded matches for his perpetually-lit pipe.
    His initial story about Chappaquiddick opened with, 'Tragedy has again struck the Kennedy family,' prompting editor A.M. Rosenthal to reply in disgust, 'This story isn't about the Kennedy family. It's about this girl.'
    He sucked up to Henry Kissinger to the point that he volunteered to ask another Times reporter to tone down his anti-Kissinger columns and offered to plant questions for Kissinger during a press conference.
    He killed a story by a Times reporter about the upcoming Christmas bombing of Hanoi when Kissinger insisted the story was untrue (1972).
    After the bombing did occur, he wrote that Kissinger 'undoubtedly oppose[d]' it, when Kissinger was actually one of the main backers of the plan.
    He was married to Sally Fulton for 60 years until his death.
    He left the Times temporarily during WWII to set up the Office of War Information's London office.
    A biographer described his writing as 'luminous, full of clever images, yet relaxed, even casual.'
    The Washington Post commented, 'Mr. Reston's work was top reading for top government officials.'
    As an illustration of his status as Washington's ultimate insider, he interviewed John F. Kennedy about a contentious meeting with Nikita Khruschev before the President briefed any of his aides.
    He wrote, 'Stick with the optimists... It's going to be tough enough even if they're right.'

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 3 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 3 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 6 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 14 Votes: 64.29% Annoying
    In 2013, Out of 9 Votes: 55.56% Annoying
    In 2012, Out of 16 Votes: 56.25% Annoying
    In 2011, Out of 5 Votes: 80.0% Annoying
 
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