Jake Schaad Jr. is still doing what he has always loved to do – write newspaper articles. The main differences today are that he works on a computer instead of a typewriter and files from a home office rather than some newsroom.
The 91-year-old vet tells fellow Wildwood Leader reporter Christie Rotondo that he is likely the oldest working print journalist in the United States. In fact, we have written about at least one other reporter who has a few years on Schaad. But who’s counting?
In talking about the origins of his epic career, which began unpaid on September 2, 1939 at the Patterson Evening News, Schaad drifts into childhood memories worthy of Jean Shepherd:
Schaad says he fell in love with writing when he was about 10 and his parents bought him an Underwood typewriter for Christmas. Earlier that year, his mother, a singer, had pushed him to sing in the church choir and play piano. Schaad says he wasn’t very good at either…
So, his mother figured Schaad could practice typing. She instructed him to write her a letter each day, which he did, reluctantly. But soon the letters became longer, and he started reading newspapers.
Schaad currently writes the local history column “In Another Time” for the Leader, a weekly community newspaper; he also contributes events coverage and the occasional opinion piece. Other outlets on his resume include the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Cape May County Herald and Press of Atlantic City. From the Big Apple, we salute you Mr. Schaad!