Meyer Berger

Meyer "Mike" Berger (September 1, 1898 – February 8, 1959) was an American journalist, considered one of the finest newspaper reporters.[1] He was also known for "About New York", a long-running column in The New York Times, and for his centennial history of that paper. Since the year after his death, Columbia School of Journalism annually gives the Berger Award to a reporter for outstanding local reporting.[2]

Meyer Berger
BornSeptember 1, 1898
New York City, New York City
DiedFebruary 8, 1959 (aged 60)
USA
OccupationJournalist, columnist
NationalityAmerican

Early life

Meyer Berger was born in New York City on September 1, 1898, the son of a Czechoslovakian (that is, from Austria-Hungary) immigrant father and a storekeeper mother. Sometime after his birth, the family moved from the Lower East Side to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Berger dropped out of school for financial reasons and became a messenger for a newspaper, The New York World. During World War I, Berger fought with the 106th Infantry, 26th Division and was awarded a Purple Heart and the Silver Star. In 1928, Berger joined the staff of The Times, where, except for a short stint at The New Yorker, he worked until his death in 1959.[1]

At The Times

Berger soon became the top color writer at The Times[3] (whose 1959 obituary labeled him "master of human-interest story")[1] writing mostly on local matters including murders, the mob, and the 1939 New York World's Fair.[1] Known for his use of detail and color, Berger's pieces were often used in other media. His report on the first wounded soldiers returning from Europe during World War II became a radio script while another became a documentary.[4] In 1939, he began the column "About New York". His book about New York, The Eight Million: a journal of a New York correspondent, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1942, as was The Story of the New York Times 1851–1951 in 1951. A collection of "About New York" columns was published posthumously as Meyer Berger's New York (Random House, 1960). The first edition was introduced by Brooks Atkinson; a later edition by Pete Hamill.[1][4]

The Pulitzer

Berger won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1950.[5] At that time there were International, National, and Local prizes for reporting. The number of subdivisions has increased, sometimes including one specifically for local reports "prepared under the pressure of edition time", such as Berger's account of the rampage by mass murderer Howard Unruh in Camden, New Jersey on September 6, 1949. A 28-year-old World War II veteran, Unruh killed 13 people, wounded several others and was arrested after a police standoff at his apartment in Camden.[6] For the report, Berger retraced Unruh's steps and interviewed 50 witnesses. He prepared and typed the 4,000-word article in two-and-a-half hours and it was published unedited in the newspaper the next morning. Berger donated the $1,000 Pulitzer Prize money to Unruh's mother.[1]

Legacy

Berger is often called one of the best American journalists[3][7] and some of his articles are considered to be the best examples of color reporting: such as his Pulitzer winner, his report on the arrival of the first set of coffins from Europe after the war, and the baseball poetry he wrote about the error that cost the Brooklyn Dodgers the fourth game of the 1941 World Series.[7][8] The Meyer Berger Award for outstanding journalism is considered one of the most prestigious by New York journalists. Newsday reporter Murray Kempton is said to have expressed disappointment that he had never won "the Berger", at the Berger luncheon after winning the Pulitzer: "The Pulitzer is named for a publisher. The Meyer Berger is named for a reporter."[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Meyer Berger, 60, of Times is Dead {...} WROTE OF CITY'S FOLK Master of Human-Interest Story Conducted 'About New York' Column". The New York Times. February 9, 1959. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Berger Award". Columbia Journalism School. Retrieved 2013-11-06. With a transcript of Berger's 1949 Pulitzer-winning report.
  3. ^ a b Greatreporters.co.uk
  4. ^ a b "Sketches of the Pulitzer Prize Winners in Journalism, Letters and Music for 1950; "South Pacific"" (PDF). The New York Times. May 2, 1950. p. 22. (subscription required)
  5. ^ "Local Reporting". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  6. ^ Parke, Richard (May 2, 1950). "South Pacific Wins 1950 Pulitzer Prize; The Way West Ruled Best Novel—Berger of The Times Gets Reporting Award" (PDF). The New York Times. (subscription required)
  7. ^ a b "Legends of True Crime Reporting: Meyere Berger". Legends of True Crime Reporting (blog). May 7, 2005. Laurajames.com.
  8. ^ "Casey in the Box by Meyer Berger". Baseball Almanac (baseball-almanac.com). With transcript of the poem.
  9. ^ Duggan, Dennis (November 1996). "Murray Kempton: Journalist of Sacred Rage". Silurian News.

External links

1941 World Series

The 1941 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers, with the Yankees winning in five games to capture their fifth title in six years, and their ninth overall.

The name "Subway Series" arose for a World Series played between two New York City teams. The series was punctuated by the Dodgers' Mickey Owen's dropped third strike of a sharply breaking curveball (a suspected spitball) pitched by Hugh Casey in the ninth inning of Game 4. The play led to a Yankees rally and brought them one win away from another championship.

The Yankees were back after a one-year hiatus, having won 13 of their last 14 Series games and 28 of their last 31.

This was the first Subway Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees (though the Yankees had already faced the crosstown New York Giants five times). These two teams would meet a total of seven times from 1941 to 1956 — the Dodgers' only victory coming in 1955 — with an additional four matchups after the Dodgers left for Los Angeles, most recently in 1981.

1950 Pulitzer Prize

The following are the Pulitzer Prizes for 1950.

Arthur Hays Sulzberger

Arthur Hays Sulzberger (September 12, 1891 – December 11, 1968) was the publisher of The New York Times from 1935 to 1961. During that time, daily circulation rose from 465,000 to 713,000 and Sunday circulation from 745,000 to 1.4 million; the staff more than doubled, reaching 5,200; advertising linage grew from 19 million to 62 million column inches per year; and gross income increased almost sevenfold, reaching 117 million dollars.

Baldy Jack Rose

Jacob Rosenzweig (September 1876 – October 4, 1947) was an American gambler and underworld figure in New York City. He was one of several star witnesses in the Becker-Rosenthal trial, among these being fellow gamblers Bridgie Webber, Harry Vallon, and Sam Schepps. Rose's testimony was the most damaging because he directly implicated Becker in arranging the murder of Herman Rosenthal. As Becker's debt collector, Rose confessed to hiring the Lenox Avenue Gang, providing the getaway car. He testified he did it all on the orders of Charles Becker.

Bob Herbert

Robert "Bob" Herbert (born March 7, 1945) is an American journalist, an op-ed columnist who wrote for The New York Times. His column was syndicated to other newspapers around the country. Herbert frequently writes on poverty, the Iraq War, racism and American political apathy towards racism. He is now a fellow at Demos and was elected to serve on the Common Cause National Governing Board in 2015.

Ellis Henican

Ellis Henican (born October 9, 1958) is an American columnist at Newsday and AM New York as well as a political analyst on the Fox News Channel. He hosts a nationally syndicated weekend show on Talk Radio Network and is the voice of "Stormy" on the Cartoon Network series Sealab 2021. He is the co-author of the New York Times Bestseller The Party's Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat.

Ida Benfey Judd

Ida Benfey Judd (died February 14, 1952) was an American educator, elocutionist and monologist, billed as "The American Storyteller". She founded the Mark Twain Association, and was its first president.

Leonard Covello

Leonard Covello (November 26, 1887 - August 19, 1982) was an Italian-born American educator, most known as the founder and first principal of the Benjamin Franklin High School and for his work on behalf of the children of Italian and Puerto Rican immigrants.

Lindy's

Lindy's was two different deli and restaurant chains in Manhattan, New York City. The first chain, founded by Leo "Lindy" Lindemann, operated from 1921 to 1969 In 1979, the Riese Organization determined that the Lindy's trademark had been abandoned, and opened new restaurants, the last of which closed in February 2018.

List of Czech Americans

This is a list of notable Czech Americans.

Many people on this list are not ethnically Czech but rather born in Bohemian/Moravian territory, of German and/or Jewish extraction.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article showing they are Czech American or must have references showing they are Czech American and are notable.

List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times

Since 1918, The New York Times daily newspaper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, a prize awarded for excellence in journalism in a range of categories.

List of awards won by The New York Times

The New York Times has won many awards. This list is up to date as of April 2018.

Martha Ellen Young Truman

Martha Ellen Young Truman (November 25, 1852 – July 26, 1947) was the mother of U.S. president Harry Truman.

Mike Kelly (journalist)

Mike Kelly is a columnist for The Record, a newspaper serving Bergen County, New Jersey.

Paul LaRosa

Paul LaRosa [aka Paul La Rosa] is a CBS News writer & producer, journalist, author and book reviewer. He is a three-time Emmy Award winner and has won every major award in television journalism and numerous awards when he was a print reporter.

Paul Vitello

Paul Vitello is an American journalist who has been writing for a variety of publications since 1972. He wrote an award-winning news column for Newsday from 1982 to 2005. He currently writes for the religion and obituary sections of The New York Times and is a lecturer at Stony Brook University's School of Journalism.

Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting

The Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting is awarded to an example of "local reporting that illuminates significant issues or concerns." This Pulitzer Prize was first awarded in 1948. Like most Pulitzers the winner receives a $10,000 award.

Rachel Kollock McDowell

Rachel Kollock McDowell (January 11, 1880 – August 30, 1949) was an American journalist and the first religion editor of The New York Times, serving in that position from 1920 to 1948. She covered the city's religious activities, from weekly sermons to church construction, community organizing and welfare. During decades of rapid social change, she was known for her connections with Protestant and Catholic clergy, as well as Jewish rabbis, and paid special attention to interfaith efforts. She spoke nationally on religion, appearing at Chautauqua, and had a weekly radio show for a quarter of a century.

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