Jim Bellows

Barely 40 when he edited the New York Herald Tribune, he had the posture of an 80-year-old. His body was skin and bones, nourished solely by cigarettes, cigarettes, cigarettes, as far as I could tell. Everybody said he didn't actually speak. He mumbled. In fact, that odd sound was the audible tone of the megavolt current generated by his passionate fascination with the human comedy.

Just 20 minutes before deadline one evening, I made it back to the city room with, if I do say so, a hot story about the notorious numbers racketeer Newsboy Moriarty. In the first sentence, I...

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