A Journalism Career That Started in the Toilet

TheParisHeraldCoverThose were the days… After getting out of the Army in 1960 and setting his sights on journalism, James Oliver Goldsborough enrolled in law school at UC Berkeley.

Then, per a write-up today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Marylynne Pitz, this happened:

An Army buddy called from Daly City, just south of San Francisco, with great news. “We’‍ve just fired the assistant managing editor for drinking in the toilet. Would you like to try out?” his friend asked.

After a six-month stint in Daly City, Goldsborough moved to the San Francisco Examiner, where he was a cub reporter.

Wow. We’re assuming that wrong-end-of-the-drinking-fountain episode must have been part of some epic assistant managing editor bender.

Goldsborough will be in Pittsburgh tomorrow through Saturday for a series of book signings. From the above-referenced Daly City starting point, he went on to fifteen years in Paris as a writer for the International Herald-Tribune and bureau chief for Newsweek.

The recent folding of the Tribune inspired Goldsborough to revisit and finish a 1980s manuscript titled The Paris Herald. Published in May, the novel features a number of real-life characters including Arthur Sulzberger and Katharine Graham.

[Jacket cover courtesy: Prospecta Press]