I grew up in a three newspaper household. The New York Times, The Daily News, and The Long Island Press. After The Long Island Press folded, it was replaced by Newsday. I read them every day. After reading the front page stories, and then checking out what was going on with the Mets, I immediately headed for the columnists. I never read an entire paper, but I read all the columnists. Liberal, conservative, I read them all. Long before I developed a love for literature, my heroes were Pete Hamill, Mike Lupica, and most of all, Jimmy Breslin.
In 2000, my family moved from New York to Maryland. Like most New Yorkers, I will always be a New Yorker no matter where I may happen to live. It’s hard to disguise. All I have to do is open my mouth. Nonetheless, I’ve tried to embrace the community in which I live. I’ve adopted the Washington Nationals (I could never, ever, root for an American League team), and given how they are currently doing, it’s felt a lot like being a Met fan during most of their history.
I’ve had no problem at all finding a hero columnist in my adopted hometown newspaper and I can easily consider him be a peer of my other columnist heroes. The Pulitzer Prize Committee agrees with me and has awarded Eugene H. Robinson the 2009 award for commentary.
Placing the news in context, helping us to understand why the issues of the day matter, challenging us to think and to feel. That’s what great columnists do.
Congratulations Mr. Robinson.
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