HR Strange But True!
June 23, 2009

He started with the company in 1940--no that's not a typo. He's still there at age 90--and he just refused a buyout!

David Perlman, The San Francisco Chronicle' s award-winning science writer/editor, still loves his job after 69 years, according to an article in the June AARP Bulletin. And he keeps pursuing stories, even if they take him to all corners of the world.

That's why he just turned down a voluntary buyout offer (1 year's salary plus health insurance) from the Hearst Corporation, even through over 100 other members of the paper's California Media Workers Guild unit, including other high-profile, long-term Chronicle editors and columnists, did accept.

Perlman's interest in journalism began when as a boy in New York City , he saw the play Front Page. He went on to Columbia University , where he edited the daily newspaper.

Perlman went West and started at the paper as a “copy boy” (that's what they were called back then, even if they were college grads). His first big assignment was in December 1941 when an editor told him to go up on the building's roof during an air raid to see if enemy planes were indeed on the way, according to the Chronicle . The paper then sent him to cover the war as a foreign correspondent. When he returned, they gave him the science beat.

Not surprisingly, Perlman received the American Geophysical Union's Sustained Achievement Award in 1997 as “a journalist who has made significant, lasting, and consistent contributions to accurate reporting or writing on the earth sciences for the general public.” Perlman is also known for his coverage of the space program from its infancy through today--and, of course--earthquakes.

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Business Times, CBS 5, and AGU

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