Ed Silverman 12/13/12

Ed Silverman, who was a distinguished broadcast journalist and documentarian, and winner of eleven Emmy awards, spoke about some key celebrities he had known. He started by talking about the lack of compromise evident in our current government. He recalled Harry Truman, who was happy to agree upon a slice at a time and who had zero tolerance for B.S. Truman, who was his own man said at one time: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog!” Truman used to hold press conferences as he did his regular morning constitutional. He was a stickler for obeying the law and would never jaywalk or cross a red light, and he always carried a copy of the Constitution in his pocket. Silverman recalled how Truman was considered immoral for dropping the Atomic Bombs on Japan. Truman felt that there had already been too many casualties on both sides and that dropping the bomb saved many times more people then would have been killed if Japan had been invaded. That included both Allies and the Japanese.

Another celebrity Silverman knew well was Howard Cosell, who starting as a lawyer representing baseball players, went on to become a sportswriter and announcer, particularly in the sports of football and boxing. Howard loved publicity and he used his personality to become one of the most visible celebrities in the field of sports broadcasting. He was criticized by many sports writers who considered Cosell an incompetent buffoon. But Howard ignored them as jealous rivals and stayed in the limelight until he died. Finally, Ed talked about Jackie Robinson who was a friend of his for many years. He attended the debut of Robinson at Ebbets Field in 1947. On that day many white fans refused to show up and the only Dodger that befriended him was the pitcher Ralph Branca. Jackie, who was a very proud and talented man, had to suppress his anger during that first year, as he was regularly demeaned by the fans and by opposing teams. He was forced to accept criticism and prejudice and not fight back. Sadly the Dodger organization never apologized to him for all he had gone through. His early death by a massive heart attack could be considered a result of all the stress he had to live with.

In summary, Ed Silverman had a most interesting career being involved with key events from the end of WWII to the seventies.

Thank you Brian for another interesting speaker.