Media people

Science writer David Perlman still working at 94

In a feature on the great San Francisco Chronicle science writer David Perlman, the LAT's Maria La Ganga notes that he was born before the discovery of penicillin or Pluto. Last year he had 111 stories in the paper. From La Ganga's story:

Perlman can't remember the name of the now-defunct publication, but he sure can recall his first story, a jailhouse interview with a prostitute that began something like this: Pretty Kitty Kelly sobbed in her cell at Schenectady County Jail last night.

"It was atrocious, but it was the kind of thing you did," said Perlman, who learned his craft in the glory days of the New York tabloids. "That kind of journalism no longer exists."

[skip]

Although only 0.2% of America's full-time workers are 80 or older, he has no plans to slow down.

He has shrunk a bit in recent years, but the cane is more for his three children's peace of mind than his own safety or mobility. He's about to turn in his outdated flip phone for a newer, smarter model. A Twitter lesson is in the offing. His driver's license is up to date.

After all, he said over a burger at a South of Market dive near Chronicle headquarters, "I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do all my life, be a reporter."


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