My father and I sat talking for another five minutes before he led me downstairs to apologize to my sister, and my mother. With each tiny step I took with him, my whole hand wrapped tighter around his middle finger. I tried to copy his walk, his expressions. I was his main man. He was my protector.

That is one of only two memories I have of my father.

The other was when I watched him die.

My dad was his parents' only son. Tall but not physically imposing, he dreamed of being on television—having a voice that made an impact. Armed with an insatiable desire to succeed—and aided by his natural gifts, which included a deeply resonant voice—he made his dream come true soon after finishing up at Bard College in 1971.

As a young reporter, he went to many corners of the country, following a story or, in many cases, following a job. After stints in North Carolina, New York, Florida, Virginia, California, and a handful of other states, he returned home to southern Maryland and started work at a job that would change his life. He finally had the chance to host his own public affairs show. And he'd hired a new writing assistant. Her name was Joy.

More from author Wes Moore
FROM: A Rhodes Scholar, A Convicted Murderer: The Ultimate Twist of Fate
Published on April 27, 2010


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