The April 19, 2013, passing of Al Neuharth, journalist, publishing executive, and founder of USA Today, the first truly successful general-interest American national daily newspaper, brought back memories of an interview I’d had with him about 30 years earlier.

Sitting in his suite/apartment at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Mr. Neuharth, attired, I’m sure, in shirt and tie, sat at a desk behind which was a table with an old, manual-style typewriter, which he used to write his weekly column for the newspaper. USA Today might have been born at the start of the computer revolution, but its founder was old school, probably up until his passing at age 89.

What strikes me now, however, is not Mr. Neuharth’s eye for detail—he chose the glass-front vending boxes for the new newspaper, and made them resemble TV sets—or his positive attitude. The ... »
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