9 Thanksgiving lessons from early mentors

These writers, editors and communicators got us started in our careers. Let’s raise a toast to them on this national celebration of gratitude.

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It was my first job at a daily newspaper, and one copy editor had taken to bawling me out in a voice heard up and down the Lower Columbia River Valley whenever he read my work.

An English major, I had talked my way into an internship at The Daily News of Longview, Washington, which had won a Pulitzer Prize the previous year for its coverage of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

My city editor, David Connolly—unlike the volcanic deskman—did not blow up when I turned in a prolix feature on banjo musician Grandpa Jones. He called me over and patiently diagrammed the classic Wall Street Journal lede. “Do it like that,” he said.

Perhaps most of us had a mentor early in our career. With Thanksgiving upon us, let us offer a toast in gratitude for those bosses and senior professionals who gave of their time and wisdom when we most needed it.

Who were these people? And what did we learn from them? I hit up a few communicators for their recollections:

1. The Senate manager: Advise and consent

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