The Press: Man Over Legend

When Benjamin Harrison Reese became managing editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 13 years ago, he had to compete with a legend, as well as with the lively afternoon opposition (the Star-Times). The legend was the enormous reputation of his predecessor, lofty, autocratic Oliver Kirby ("O.K.") Bovard, one of the great managing editors of his time. What made matters worse was that Bovard, before he stalked out of the P-D (at the end of a long disagreement with Publisher Joseph Pulitzer), had made it clear that he thought City Editor Ben Reese something less than a worthy successor.

At first, Ben Reese...

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