Facebook: The great leveler

I’m given to reverence of older people who have lived through history that I’ve only read about. One of the people I’ve revered most is Chester Burger, who at CBS in 1947 became the nation’s first TV news reporter, and who went on to a stellar career in the very highest levels of public relations, giving advice to the top management of AT&T, a little gig that lasted from 1955 to 1988.

He used his talent as a communicator to push civil rights in the 1960s, served on countless boards while writing books and taking wonderful photographs.

In his retirement, he’s been classy and generous in rendering advice to young Turks, this writer happily included on occasion.

Chet sashayed through the 20th century with a set of 19th century manners.

So I chuckled ruefully when I looked him up on Facebook. I wasn’t surprised to find the 87-year-old there grinning above a list of 62 friends of all ages; the man has formaldehyde in his brain case. But it was amusing to be offered the opportunity to:

View Photos of Chester (3)

Send Chester a Message

Suggest Friends for Chester

Poke Chester

It reminded me of when the great writer Studs Terkel was about Chet’s age now, and a young reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times called. She was working on a story about local celebrities’ favorite watering holes.

“Tell me, Studs,” she asked the near-nonagenarian, “where do you party?”

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