Al inspired even then

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The April 9 news obituary “Irreverent PG Politics Reporter, Editor” by Tony Norman and his April 11 column (“Pa. Has Lost Two Fine Journalists for Good”), both honoring former PG journalist Al Donalson, were quite appropriate and heartfelt. I’d like to add my perspective, not about his many career accomplishments but from Al’s formative years — and mine.

At Westinghouse High School, Al already showed his amazing talent as a journalist and writer. Because I was a lowly freshman during his senior year, Al and I had very little personal contact. But I was inspired by his sports and general news articles, and I later became, as he had been, the editor of the Bulldog, our school newspaper. That was the high point of my journalistic career, but thanks to Al, I came to appreciate, ever after, great journalists and their works.

Years later, I talked with Al at the Pittsburgh Press Club when he received one of his numerous journalism awards. I hope I thanked him then for his positive effect on me. But whether or not I did so, I wish to pass along now to his family and friends my sincere gratitude for Al’s inspiration.


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