Jimmy Breslin, Legendary New York City Newspaper Columnist, Dies at 88

from NYTs

Jimmy Breslin, the New York City newspaper columnist and best-selling author who leveled the powerful and elevated the powerless for more than 50 years with brick-hard words and a jagged-glass wit, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 88 and, until very recently, was still pushing somebody’s buttons with two-finger jabs at his keyboard.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Ronnie Eldridge, a prominent Democratic politician in Manhattan. Mr. Breslin had been recovering from pneumonia.

With prose that was savagely funny, deceptively simple and poorly imitated, Mr. Breslin created his own distinct rhythm in the hurly-burly music of newspapers. Here, for example, is how he described Clifton Pollard, the man who dug President John F. Kennedy’s grave, in a celebrated column from 1963 that sent legions of journalists to find their “gravedigger”:

“Pollard is forty-two. He is a slim man with a mustache who was born in Pittsburgh and served as a private in the 352nd Engineers battalion in Burma in World War II. He is an equipment operator, grade 10, which means he gets $3.01 an hour. One of the last to serve John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who was the thirty-fifth President of this country, was a working man who earns $3.01 an hour and said it was an honor to dig the grave.”

More here and from Jim Rutenberg … A ‘Dying Breed’ Taking More Than Its Loud, Local Voice With It.

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12 Responses to Jimmy Breslin, Legendary New York City Newspaper Columnist, Dies at 88

  1. Chanel Jemmott March 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    Jimmy Breslin an outspoken and quite blunt American journalist passed away on March 19th, 2017. His Journalism chased the biggest stories in the country and his work affected many americans. Breslin wrote newspaper columns on inconspicuous people and made their stories famous. In other words, he gave a voice to those who would otherwise be overlooked. Much like a muckraker in the Progressive Era, Breslin exposed many injustices in the world some of which occurred in his hometown. The voice and conviction his words held have yet to be matched and probably never will be. Breslin’s New York cadence never eluded him. The same attitude he wrote with reflected his real life attitude, raw. Living for 88 years as an author, reporter, and journalist one could imagine all the historical events he lived through. Prior to this blog post, I did not know who Jimmy Breslin was, but after researching him he has earned nothing but my respect. Although, he is gone now his literary work and legacy will continue to live on for forever.
    As stated before Jimmy Breslin had a magical power to examine ordinary people and dissect their stories. People no other journalist would have thought to pay any attention to. For example, 42 year old Clifton Pollard. A gravedigger who dug the grave of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. Clifton was an african american that was paid about $3 per hour for this job, yet he still found it an honor to be digging the grave for the former president. Clifton Pollard could not attend the funeral because his attire was covered in dirt, his overalls didn’t make the cut to be televised. Although he worked hard for a small amount of money, if it was up to him he would do the job for free. His patriotism, overshadowed any injustices he faced that day. Like many American did, Pollard appreciated and respected John F. Kennedy and wanted him to be buried the right way. These are the type of stories Jimmy Breslin wrote they were subtle yet moving.
    In one of his last interviews, the interviewer had asked him, “ How do you want to be remembered?”. Jimmy Breslin simply replied, “What do it matter? Please don’t speak about me when I’m gone? I mean i don’t care what you do, if I’m not here it don’t count”. That exact same rawness is the thing he will be most remembered by. He didn’t care what others believed about him or his work, because he couldn’t. A bigger task to inform the people of current events was calling his name and that’s precisely what he did. If you like myself did not know of Jimmy Breslin, I suggest you search his name in google. Maybe then you will realize that on March 19th, 2017 not only did we lose a great writer, but we lost a legend. May his words continue to live on.

  2. William Stuck March 24, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    Recently, the world lost Jimmy Breslin. Breslin was a newspaper columnist who lived in New York City. The reporter was best known for his hard words and witty style of writing. He was able to make an impact on everyone, good or bad. That is the kind of journalism I really appreciate. More broadly, it is the kind of mindset I really appreciate. It’s a shame that we do not have as many journalists like Breslin nowadays. People who do not care what others think, people who are not afraid to voice their opinions in the funniest way possible with zero apologies. Instead, it seems like way too many people are scared that they might offend someone, which is ridiculous. Profane wit is one of the most effective ways of emphasizing a point. Cracking jokes about something serious shows people just how ridiculous you think it is. I personally think that we are way to obsessed with what is grammatically accurate and politically correct. The world will miss people like Jimmy Breslin, who found ways to take serious issues and put a spin on it. Intelligent humor is in very short supply if you ask me. The article describes breslin as a “hard-drinking, dark-humored everyman” and that is exactly the man that we need more of. People from a few generations ago were pretty much all like that, just awesome people who embraced humor and generally offensive things. People who pour whiskey in their cereal every morning and who could not care less about how you are supposed to talk or how you are supposed to act. He even joked about the death of his own father, what a shining beacon of not caring. Everyone should have at least a little bit of this attitude. Why get offended when you can get even? More people should voice their opinions in humorous ways. And if you do not like it, then send something equally as snarky and profane right back at them. Things need to be much less civil and much more fun. I think this is an actual problem, people care way too much about what society tells them is correct. As people we naturally like this kind of funny stuff, so why do we invent social conventions that discourage it so much? People like Breslin are all too rare today. We should give more credit to people with the guts to say hell with it and do what they please. I am not even joking. Being an independent thinker is harder than it has ever been.

  3. Guy Barbano March 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

    Sad news has recently hit that New York residence and outspoken write for the New York Times Jimmy Breslin has recently passed on. Mr. Breslin will always be remembered for the hard work and dedication he had to writing. Breslin loved the newspaper and because of that love he is one of many who changed journalism today for the 20th century. One article that catches my eye is his article about John F. Kennedy’s funeral. While many just wrote about how Truman dressed or how Mrs. Kennedy looked and was seen as or the weather. Mr. Breslin found the man who happen to dig the grave for the deceased president. The man was being paid $3.01 an hour to dig the grave. And when he asked if he could stay and observe the funeral and was told no because he was a laborer and that he had other graves to dig. The man responded with okay and went on working for the day. This really shows the kind of writing Mr. Breslin liked to and thrived to write about. The underdogs were Jimmy Breslin’s bread and butter. Because of what Breslin did many editors had writers go to places and get the stories below the surface the idea of the “gravedigger’s story”. Mr. Jimmy Breslin grew up in Queens, New York with big dreams of being a sports writer one day. One major thing I liked that Mr. Breslin did was around the time 1965 there was a march going on to Selma. It was about African Americans and voting rights in America. The first person to lead the march was none other than Martin Luther King Jr. Who every reported wanted to write about because it was none other than Mr. Martin Luther King. Mr. Breslin though had other plans. Albert Turner was the very last person in the march. Albert turner believed that if the government could take $27.50 away a week from his paycheck then the government could give him something back in return like the right for him to vote in any election. One thing I do find very interesting is how about one point in Mr. Breslin’s life he tried to run for council man and a fellow running mate went to run for mayor and there goal of the election was to try take the city and have it become the 51st state. Breslin didn’t win the election nor did his running mate. After reading and listen to Mr. Breslin’s life story it really shows the kind of person Mr. Breslin was and the impact he had on modern day writing and journalism. I believe if it was not for him and the way he wrote his articles that modern day journal would be still about the favorite the celebrity not the underdog and the everyday person that Mr. Breslin was known for interviewing. His articles put a whole new idea on journalism and because of that I thank him for the hardwork and dedication he put in to journalism.

  4. Zion McMillan March 24, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

    On March 20th, 2017, legendary New York Times columnist Jimmy Breslin passed away. Regardless of individual opinions on him his contribution to journalism and his unconventional approaches made his constructive influence unquestionable. It is said that they are multiple Jimmy Breslin’s because so many people that he worked with or that read his columns identified so much with him. Early into his career Breslin established himself as the outspoken, heavy-drinking man from Queens, New York. This attitude was reflective of his work when he released an annual “people I’m not talking to this year” list, which oftentimes included some of his closest friends.
    Interestingly enough, Breslin’s death in a way also symbolizes the downfall of the newspaper in today’s society and highlights online platforms of news that we are becoming more and more accustomed to. Breslin wrote much of his work in actual newspapers, and the fact that he his now deceased alludes to what we are leaving behind. Additionally, his work never failed to have meaning, as Jimmy Breslin was a big time activist and spoke out on issues he deemed to be problematic like poverty and disenfranchised communities which is uncharacteristically proactive. When discussing the said issues he was passionate about, most of his readers and critics took his tone to be malicious and cruel. He was even suspended by one of his employers at one point due to a racist rant he went on regarding an Asian female. Maybe his unpredictable attitude towards people could be traced back to his absent father, who left him at the age of 6 then returned once Jimmy was famous. He paid for his father’s medical bills but sent his dad a telegram encouraging him to kill himself throughout the process. Upon his father’s death the only words he said were, “Thank God that’s over”.
    Jimmy Breslin is labeled as one of the founding fathers of New Journalism which is a style of journalistic writing where narration techniques are used so the column reads as a novel. This type of writing engaged an entirely new range of people and put Breslin on track to being one of the most memorized writers of modern times. From writing on subjects as important and influential as the Kennedy and Malcolm X assassinations, to as light hearted as his own line of characters, Breslin was an author that left his mark on the world of journalism forever.

  5. Nicholas Thomas March 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

    In this comment I could easily write about how on March 19, 2017, the journalism world and world of writers in general lost the innovative writer Jimmy Breslin. I could talk about Mr. Breslin’s various achievements such as writing Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game, and The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, which later become a movie. Then there are the various writing awards Mr. Breslin won for his work, but in reality none of his achievements are of any real significance. I am not arguing Mr. Breslin should not be revered as a journalist and writer, however; I believe even he would say none of those achievements mentioned matter in the least. What matters is the impact Mr. Breslin had on the life of the “little guy.” As a child Mr. Breslin dreamed of riding the train from baseball game to baseball game and being a sports writer. However, he became the mouth piece for the forgotten man. For example, when JFK died and most reporters swarmed on the president’s family members, staff, and colleagues, Breslin found the gravedigger that dug JFK’s plot. The gravedigger was Clifton Pollard, dug the gravesite yet was not allowed to attend the funeral. Another example is during the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, instead of interviewing the man at the front of the march, Martin Luther King Jr., Mr.Breslin went to the last man in the line Albert Turner. Albert Turner was a brick layer who wanted the ability to vote. Then there was Mr. Breslin communication with the Son of Sam, a serial killer who targeted brunette, Caucasian women. The Son of Sam example may not seem like an underdog story, but understanding that the Son of Sam was a criminal, he is at the bottom of the social ladder. Mr. Breslin used his column to urge the killer to turn himself in and stop hurting people. But, again everything I have just mentioned mean nothing, what matters is finding one’s “gravedigger.” A lesson to be taken away from Mr. Breslin’s work is to give a voice to the little guy because the little guy is the one who supports society.
    I think the article of Mr. Breslin captures his person by calling Mr. Breslin a person who “leveled the powerful and elevated the powerless.” Mr. Breslin was notorious for bluntly saying what he thought to enemies and friends, but he did not allow his ego to turn him into the “big-shot” he was fighting against. Breslin was fueled by rage that both empowered him and humbles him. For example, when Breslin addressed someone he especially did not like he was refer to himself as “J. B. Number One.” However, I view this more as a tactic to fighting for the forgotten man than hubris because Breslin never stopped writing for the “loser.” Literally speaking Breslin never stopped writing, almost every single day, until his death, Breslin kept writing.
    With this said, I would disagree with Chanel that it is vital for Breslin’s words to be remembered. Breslin’s words and work does not matter. How and if Mr. Breslin is remembered is not important, even Breslin did not care about him being remembered. The point of his work was not to gain him fame and respect. It is important the his lessons be remembered and that someone always fights for the little guy. The winner’s story will be told again and again, but the loser rarely gets a voice, yet it is the loser has a reason to fight for something. The “losers” is often the one that supports the “winners.”

  6. Owen Balseiro March 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    Love them or hate them, the New York city is one of the world’s largest newspaper centers. And for more than 50 years, Jimmy Breslin was one of the columnists at the help of this seemingly unstoppable ship. A man who was a “champion for the common worker,” his most famous column was probably “The Man Who Dug John. F Kennedy’s Grave.” Which was all about the man who dug the grave for the recently killed president and not the president himself. This column was so influential that other reporters were soon looking for the grave differ so that they could ask him questions. Jimmy Breslin was often seen at various watering holes around his hometown of New York City. Mingling with politicians and common people alike, Jimmy Breslin would learn much about both walks of life as he probed for stories that he could write about in his column. As an investigative journalist Jimmy Breslin created ties with various mafia connections in NEw York City but with varying results. As he would often get the information he desired he was also targeted, like in 1970 where Jimmy Burke, a mobster for the Lucchese Family beat him for writing an article about another mobster. Jimmy Breslin also made an impact in crime journalism during the Scare of Sam in New York City 1977. Jimmy Breslin himself received two letters directly from the killer, and excerpts were later published in Spike Lee’s film Summer of Sam. Marking Jimmy Breslin as a well rounded journalist. Later in his career, in 1986 Jimmy Breslin revealed that Donald Manes was involved in a kickback scheme. Leading to Manes to commit suicide. One of the few controversies that Jimmy Breslin was involved with was when fellow Newsday journalist Ji-Yeon Mary described one of Jimmy’s articles as sexist. When Jimmy Breslin retorted, asian americans and anti hate groups decried him as the remarks made by Jimmy just fueled the flames. Leading to Jimmy having to apologize after being suspended for two weeks. Overall the world and New York City through 50 years of journalism that would make this generation’s journalists cower in shame. Jimmy was what journalism should be about, looking for nothing but the truth and disregarding everyone who tries to stop you. Jimmy Breslin was someone who woke up every day as sought to help people through his columns. When the Summer of Sam happened, Jimmy Breslin used his column to urge the killer to turn himself in. And several years later Jimmy Breslin when right after a borough president of New York City when he went after Donald Manes who was profiting from kick back schemes from organizations around New York City. Jimmy Breslin represented a style. His style was to get the truth and the truth was the only thing that mattered. He is a journalist that all others should try to become and we are running incredibly low on journalists like Jimmy Breslin right now.

  7. Nick Shervanian March 24, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    One of the greatest New York Times columnists, Jimmy Breslin, passed away on March 20,2017. He was not a popular guy and people had their own variety of opinions on him. However, his contribution to journalism and his unconventional approaches made his constructive influence unquestionable. It is said that they are multiple Jimmy Breslin’s because so many people that he worked with or that read his columns identified so much with him. Early into his career Breslin established himself as the outspoken, heavy-drinking man from Queens, New York. This attitude was reflective of his work when he released an annual “people I’m not talking to this year” list, which oftentimes included some of his closest friends.
    Interestingly enough, Breslin’s death in a way also symbolizes the downfall of the newspaper in today’s society and highlights online platforms of news that we are becoming more and more accustomed to. Breslin wrote much of his work in actual newspapers, and the fact that he his now deceased alludes to what we are leaving behind. Additionally, his work never failed to have meaning, as Jimmy Breslin was a big time activist and spoke out on issues he deemed to be problematic like poverty and disenfranchised communities which is uncharacteristically proactive. When discussing the said issues he was passionate about, most of his readers and critics took his tone to be malicious and cruel. He was even suspended by one of his employers at one point due to a racist rant he went on regarding an Asian female. Maybe his unpredictable attitude towards people could be traced back to his absent father, who left him at the age of 6 then returned once Jimmy was famous. He paid for his father’s medical bills but sent his dad a telegram encouraging him to kill himself throughout the process. Upon his father’s death the only words he said were, “Thank God that’s over”.
    Jimmy Breslin is labeled as one of the founding fathers of New Journalism which is a style of journalistic writing where narration techniques are used so the column reads as a novel. This type of writing engaged an entirely new range of people and put Breslin on track to being one of the most memorized writers of modern times. From writing on subjects as important and influential as the Kennedy and Malcolm X assassinations, to as light hearted as his own line of characters, Breslin was an author that left his mark on the world of journalism forever.

  8. Benjamin Jaros March 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

    Based on the article, Jimmy Breslin may have been one of the best journalists of our time. “Telling the tale through the gravedigger” fostered an era of elaborate journalism. Based on the video, his stories moved many and he told stories in a way very few other journalists do. However, it was not just his story telling that make Jimmy Breslin unique, his perseverance also creates a noteworthy memory. Breslin witnessed the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. This traumatic experience led him to take a break from journalism.
    Nevertheless, in the face of the adversity, Jimmy Breslin still came back from the assassination and continued with his writing. He wrote multiple books before heading back to writing stories in journalism. However, his memory should not be limited to journalism because he also ran for mayor of New York City. Further, he wrote a column attempting to dissuade the .44 caliber killer. These diverse and admirable actions make Jimmy Breslin truly a man for the ages.
    However, Jimmy Breslin may represent an era of journalism that is going to end sooner rather than later. The days of journalists working long, extensive careers in journalism seem to be over. They are being superseded by an era defined by fake news and authors working through the blogosphere through mediums such as the Odyssey online.
    Fake news has been the largest plague for the mainstream journalism over the past few months. The reason “fake news” plagued the media so much is because some of the stories conducted by the mainstream media are also guilty of the same claims of fake news. All news will be told through some bias. In reality, there is no way to eliminate all bias; however, journalism could try to do its best to avoid explicit bias. Yet, the mainstream media over the past six months was responsible for some rather explicit bias in terms of whom they all “worked” for during the election.
    The other threat to mainstream journalism is mediums such as the Odyssey online. The Odyssey online provides authors with the opportunity and freedom to report on what they consider relevant news. Simultaneously, the medium odyssey gives the news some background credibility so that the reports are not just immediately written off as fake news. Finally, these mediums allow journalists to report from anywhere and it does not need to take up the “office-space” that most large mainstream outlets are still dependent upon.
    These threats may pose an end to era of journalism that Jimmy Breslin helped to create. Large mainstream news becomes irrelevant if they choose to tell the story they want to see, compared with the one that actually happened. Further, with the Odyssey online, and others like it nipping at their heels for market share, journalism’s decline in this country will be quicker than previously thought. Finally, the media has alienated many people who could have aided in protecting them from their demise. Journalism as Jimmy Breslin knew it is no longer the norm.

  9. Cameron Collier March 24, 2017 at 9:00 pm #

    Jimmy Breslin an outspoken and quite blunt American journalist passed away on March 19th, 2017. His Journalism chased the biggest stories in the country and his work affected many americans. Breslin wrote newspaper columns on inconspicuous people and made their stories famous. In other words, he gave a voice to those who would otherwise be overlooked. Much like a muckraker in the Progressive Era, Breslin exposed many injustices in the world some of which occurred in his hometown. Recently, the world lost Jimmy Breslin. Breslin was a newspaper columnist who lived in New York City. The reporter was best known for his hard words and witty style of writing. He was able to make an impact on everyone, good or bad. That is the kind of journalism I really appreciate. More broadly, it is the kind of mindset I really appreciate. It’s a shame that we do not have as many journalists like Breslin nowadays.Sad news has recently hit that New York residence and outspoken write for the New York Times Jimmy Breslin has recently passed on. Mr. Breslin will always be remembered for the hard work and dedication he had to writing. Breslin loved the newspaper and because of that love he is one of many who changed journalism today for the 20th century. One article that catches my eye is his article about John F. Kennedy’s funeral. While many just wrote about how Truman dressed or how Mrs. Kennedy looked and was seen as or the weather.
    The Son of Sam example may not seem like an underdog story, but understanding that the Son of Sam was a criminal, he is at the bottom of the social ladder. Mr. Breslin used his column to urge the killer to turn himself in and stop hurting people. But, again everything I have just mentioned mean nothing, what matters is finding one’s “gravedigger.” A lesson to be taken away from Mr. Breslin’s work is to give a voice to the little guy because the little guy is the one who supports society. As an investigative journalist Jimmy Breslin created ties with various mafia connections in NEw York City but with varying results. As he would often get the information he desired he was also targeted, like in 1970 where Jimmy Burke, a mobster for the Lucchese Family beat him for writing an article about another mobster. These threats may pose an end to era of journalism that Jimmy Breslin helped to create. Large mainstream news becomes irrelevant if they choose to tell the story they want to see, compared with the one that actually happened. Further, with the Odyssey online, and others like it nipping at their heels for market share, journalism’s decline in this country will be quicker than previously thought. Jimmy Breslin is labeled as one of the founding fathers of New Journalism which is a style of journalistic writing where narration techniques are used so the column reads as a novel. This type of writing engaged an entirely new range of people and put Breslin on track to being one of the most memorized writers of modern times.

  10. Filip Bizek March 25, 2017 at 11:52 pm #

    Jimmy Breslin is considered to be a legend within the journalist community. He was known for his blunt opinion and always pushing somebody’s buttons with two-finger jabs at his keyboard. Mr. Breslin’s death symbolizes the end of an era for newspaper businesses. In today’s world, the art of reading is no longer the most notable source of information. TV became the new empire in connecting the consumers to new media cycles. Let us face it, watching TV does not require any skill, thus if an individual understands the language he or she will have no problem with comprehending what the news spokesperson is saying. On the other hand, fluent reading requires sufficient amount of skill. Although majority of people are literate, it does not mean they are actually good at reading. On average, it would take much longer for a person to derive information from a newspaper in comparison to watching TV. Moreover, watching enables multitasking while reading inhibits it; therefore, it is only natural that the demand is shifting away from the newspapers and heads toward television.

    Furthermore, TV is not the only problem taking away consumers from the newspaper businesses. A significant factor contributing to this issue is trustworthiness. Currently speaking, only 32% of people actually believe that media covers stories in a fair and accurate way. Without any exaggeration, this is literally the lowest point in history of polling for mainstream media industries. Its effect reaches both TV and newspapers; people no longer hold them credible and they have a valid point. Back in a day, such businesses did not focus on profit but rather good journalism which indirectly brought positive revenue. However, just like any other industry, media also became greedy. Journalism prefers to focus on controversies instead of truth and substantial conversations. One may ask why media decides to go in that particular direction. Well, the answer is quite simple, controversy equals ratings and ratings equal more revenue. In other words, media industry is overwhelmed with large corporations whose primary objective is money. People are not stupid and are tired of constant manipulation of facts by different news companies in order to propel their own agenda. That is why 68% of Americans do not portray media as a reliable source of information.

    The problem mentioned above was never more visible than during the last primaries and presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Each day, Trump would have make an outrageous statement and fully dominate the media cycles with the purpose of cutting the link between the voters and his competitors. Trump would call someone stupid and every media industry would cover it 24/7. It got to the point where all the focus turned to he said or she said while the actual talk of policy became a silent minority. Everyone knows that stupidity brings controversy and controversy is linked to higher ratings, thus why cover the truth which often enough is not as entertaining in comparison to lies. At first, it most certainly worked; newspapers and news channels extensively covering Trump’s vocal atrocities with the reward of higher ratings. However, such foolishness has a quick end. Consumers grew sick entire of nonsense and demanded policy talk that never came. I was a studious examiner of the whole presidential race and watched the media businesses turning into a reality TV industry. Therefore, I think the distrust in media reflects their terrible job during the election process. Every action has an equal reaction.

  11. Christian Cox March 31, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    Fake news is running rampant in the United States showing that true journalism is no longer appreciated. Trump’s claim that all sources are fake news show how distorted our view of the media are today. Our susceptibility to believing truly fake sources stems from our lack of media literacy. This is likely due to the fact that the news used to be reported accurately with honesty and respect for the facts. Journalism has suffered another great loss recently with the death of Jimmy Breslin almost ten days ago. He served as a regular columnist for the Long Island newspaper Newsday until his retirement on November 2, 2004, though he still published occasional pieces for the paper. He was known for his newspaper columns which offered a sympathetic viewpoint of the working class people of New York City. Breslin was an incredibly talented journalist and a best selling author; he was considered a legend because he was able to call out the powerful and empower the powerless. He was a journalist for over fifty years and was known for his unrelenting words and sharp wit. His writing was able to inspire emotions in the reader from softhearted pieces to unforgiving rants. Whatever your personal opinions were about the man there was no denying that he had a significant impact on narrative nonfiction. His devotion to journalism is truly inspiring and showed a true dedication to his craft. The importance of journalism should not be understated. Journalism is supposed to protect the powerless and expose the corrupt. Breslin dedicated himself to finding ways to shed light on true injustice in the world. In a time where fake news is so prevalent it is good to hear the accomplishments of a truly great journalist. Knowingly telling a falsified story used to called lying however now it is a matter of political opinion. However, with the good always comes with the bad. Jimmy Breslin was not a perfect man and faced controversy during his career as a journalist. Breslin was called out for creating a sexist article, which heatedly retorted. Asian American and anti-hate groups were appalled by Breslins’s outburst. Breslin then appeared on the Howard Stern Show to banter about the outburst and Koreans in general. Perhaps this was just a different time when the world had different opinions, but his actions were not taken lightly. Newsday’s head editor, Anthony Marro, suspended Breslin for two weeks after the controversial radio broadcast. Breslin was married twice throughout his life. His first marriage was to Rosemary Dattolico but their marriage was unfortunately cut short due to her death in 1981. They had six children together four sons and two daughters. In 1982 Breslin married former New York city council member Ronnie Eldridge. Breslin is now remembered today as a man who consistently champion ordinary citizens. His distrust for bloated corrupt companies and politicians made his research and writing so passionate. He truly is a terrific author and there is no doubt in my mind he deserves recognition for his cause.

  12. John Zarro March 31, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    This article was concerning the legendary reporter’s career and writing style. The literary community lost Jimmy Breslin who was a newspaper columnist living in New York City. Breslin was able to touch people beyond his columns for over 50 years with his “brick-hand words and jagged-glass wit.” Breslin died while attempting to recover from pneumonia saddening the entire community. To give some insight on Breslin’s work, he described Clifton Pollard as “the man who dug President John F. Kennedy’s grave” wreaking havoc among journalist in 1963. His accomplishments are never ending after winning the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for commentary focusing on “a single man” who was David Camacho. He wrote about one of the most controversial topics of all time, the AIDS epidemic. In his excerpt from the article, “He had two good weeks in July and then the fever returned and he was back in the hospital for half of last August. He got out again and returned to Eighth Street. The date this time doesn’t count. By now, he measured nothing around him. Week, month, day, night, summer heat, fall chill, the color of the sky, the sound of the street, clothes, music, lights, wealth dwindled in meaning,” we can realize that Breslin was able to turn basic facts into a story. His words brought along mystery and suspense.

    It was very interesting to see that Breslin’s “secret weapon was rage. Rage apparently was “the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers,” which again I found intriguing. Another prominent article titled “The Church That Forgot Christ” in 2004 included “sex scandals” revolutionizing how people viewed sex and the church’s relationship with each other. I see Breslin’s work as something the audience either loved and kept reading or hated and kept reading just to argue it. He was very opinionated and thought different than others. In an interview for the New York Times in 2006, he said regarding the presidential assassination, “Well, you’re looking for the dressing room, that’s all. And I did. I went there automatic,” proving how most people would look other places for different.

    Dan Barry writes how Breslin was considered an alcoholic or “dark-humored” barely attending to his children’s needs always divulging into his work. On the other hand he apparently admired Dostoyesky who was the complete opposite of what Breslin is described as. Dostoyvesky drinking was pretty much extinct while he swam daily and wrote a “shelf-full of books.” He was also known for work ethic that drove him to do unordinary tasks in order to be the best literary figure he could be. Breslin’s work never seemed to stop and we now see where he got his work methods from. Receiving a letter from a serial killer in 1977 shocking the nation to writing novels such as “World Without End, Amen” in 1973 are just a few things distinguishing himself from the rest of the authors around. One book I have read parts of was “The Good Rat” that regarded the New York Police Department and the Mafia’s relationship opening the eyes of readers everywhere. The wide range of work Breslin had produced is why he will forever be such a legendary figure in the literary community.

    I personally wish I was had read more of Breslin’s works besides the few Mafia related ones I looked at in the past when doing a research project. I wish I was able to follow along with his columns because they seem like something I would enjoy. Overall, Breslin was someone who will live on in American literature’s history forever.

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