Gaston Caperton; Winston
dashing, friendly but with an agreeable air of authority,
he is perhaps one of the most important young men, as well as political characters
in the city, and possibly the country today.
Raised in New Jersey, Jonathan Capehart (pictured with Ashley Schiff)
graduated from the prestigiously brainy Carlton College in Minnesota where he
majored in Political Science and was taught by Paul Wellstone (who
later went on to become U.S. Senator from Minnesota until his untimely death
in a plane crash just before the election in 2000).
Jonathan is the dream-come-true example of the brilliant potential
of a college Political Science major, which is probably a tribute also to his
personal understated charm as much as to his trenchant intellect. He came to
the city right out of college in 1990 and almost immediately got himself a job
working for the president of the WNYC Foundation, writing speeches and serving
as liaison to the Foundation’s board as well as the New York State Legislature
and the Washington-based public broadcasting organizations.
Two years later he went to work for the “Today Show” doing research
and writing news. That assignment took him the following year to the New
York Daily News as a member of the seven man editorial board, forming the
paper’s editorial positions on city, state, national and international
issues as well as doing daily reporting and writing.
In 1999, he was the key person of the Daily News editorial team that
won a Pulitzer for “best editorial writing” for a campaign to save
Harlem’s historic Apollo Theatre. The following year, the team won the
George Polk Award for its fourteen part editorial series “New York’s
Harvest of Shame” that exposed the exploitative practices and deplorable
conditions facing upstate New York farm workers. The year-long campaign led to
action by the NY State Legislature and the Governor.
In 2000 he joined Bloomberg News to become its
National Affairs columnist. Less than a year later, in
2001, he took a leave of absence to be the first individual
to join Michael Bloomberg’s campaign
for mayor, serving as a policy adviser. After the election
became a member of the Mayor’s transition staff.
The following year he went back to Bloomberg News as its Global Poverty correspondent,
and shortly thereafter, he returned to the Daily News as its Editorial Page Editor
where he now manages the seven member board. A high profile opinion maker, he’s
often a guest on CNN, MSNBC and the Friday’s Reporter Roundtable on New
York 1 News’ “Inside City Hall.” Oh, and he also serves as
a correspondent for “In the Life, “ a gay and lesbian news magazine
show on PBS.
Anything else? Jonathan is also a member of the very prestigious Council on Foreign
Relations, a fellow of the Japan American Young Leaders Project, a participant
in the Young Leaders Conference of the Council for the United States and Italy;
and one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow selected by the World Economic
Forum in 2002.
If I hadn’t met the man a few times at parties, I’d
find all this totally intimidating and could imagine a rather stuffy highbrow
of a person (as these political and economics “advisers” can often
be – to make an gross understatement). But he’s not. On the face
of it, it’s surprising that he’d even have time to get around socially,
but he does. Handsome and stylish to boot, always beautifully turned out, he
has a modest yet outgoing demeanor on meeting and, not surprisingly, lots and
lots of friends, not only among the high and mighty but as well as the just-folks
and working stiffs (wrong word, right idea) who make up dynamic New York.
* Since we last spoke Jonathan has moved from the Editorial Board of the New
Daily News to an executive position of Hill & Knowlton one of the great
public relations firms. Heavy duty. Hill & Knowlton has 72 offices in 38
countries (19 here in the US) and they handle all kinds of communications projects
and problems from corporate to marketing to public affairs to financial communications.
They’re in Asia, in Canada, in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin
America. And of course right here in New York.
Gaston Caperton. Former governor of West Virginia,
now president of the College Board, organization which created
the SAT, the nation’s premier college admissions exam, among
its programs. Governor Caperton began his life with serious learning
disabilities that through assistance and training he overcame and
progressed to the major positions of responsibility in American
society. He is both a hero and a champion and now a promoter of
heroism and championship
in the young.
II. Grandson of the late Sir Winston, only son of Randolph Churchill
and Pamela Digby Churchill (later Hayward and then Harriman). Frequent visitor
with his wife Luce to New York and Palm Beach.
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