Books: Small-Screen View of a Titan

IN ALL HIS GLORY: THE LIFE OF WILLIAM S. PALEY

by Sally Bedell Smith; Simon & Schuster; 782 pages; $29.95

In the summer of 1927, Sam Paley, a Philadelphia cigar manufacturer, paid $50 a week to a fledgling local radio station to air The La Palina Hour, a musical-variety show that would advertise his cigars. His son Bill, a company vice president, objected to the decision, which had been made while he was traveling in Europe. But years later, when William S. Paley recalled that early encounter with radio, the story had changed. He was the one, Paley said, who started...

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