The Press: Exit Blushing

To the editors of Hearst's San Francisco Examiner, the beefy, flashily dressed stranger introduced himself as Bob Patterson, an all-round newshand. He'd just breezed in from Atlanta, he said, via Hollywood, where he had written Brute Force for Mark Hellinger. He wanted a job.

In March 1946, he got the job—writing the new society chitchat and gossip column that W.R. Hearst had ordered. As "Freddie Francisco," Patterson filled his column with racy penthouse scandal and jive talk, was soon earning $15,000 a year as the Examiner's prize drawing card. Once, when he called...

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