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Remembering Ralph J. Gleason

Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 December 2004

NOTE: I’ve never done a more personal piece of journalism. Ralph was a distant figure on my horizon, but his presence surrounded me; from reading him in the Chronicle from my earliest interest in the subject to seeing his handwriting on the back of old publicity photos in the files. I used to see him around the office – he would drop by to pick up mail on his way out for the evening – from time to time when I worked the night shift as a copy boy. I had spent a long, loathsome year off the beat and, almost soon as I was back, I dug into this piece, spending days reading old Gleason clips in a windowless basement room, as a means of reconnecting with something important in my life.

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Total word count of piece: 3893