Major (and Minor) Achievements

Major achievements

— Finding Our Fathers (1977), the first English-language book on tracing Jewish ancestors, launched the modern Jewish genealogy movement.

— Helped foster the development of the “alternative media movement” through my involvement in Chicago Journalism Review, the Welcomat, Philadelphia Forum and the arts and culture website Broad Street Review.

— I was a pioneer in compiling “rich lists” within various communities, and my files provided the nucleus of the first “Forbes 400″ list of wealthiest Americans (1982).

— Similarly, I compiled the first lists of America’s most generous living philanthropists for Town & Country (1983-89) and American Benefactor (1997-98). These may have influenced the huge increases in philanthropy by living Americans since the mid-1980s.

— In the course of championing free speech, I defended seven libel suits, all successfully.

— Wrote the first guidebook for inheritors (The Inheritor’s Handbook, 1998).

— My co-authored book, Revolution On Wall Street (1993), was one of the first to advocate converting the New York Stock Exchange from a not-for-profit membership organization to a publicly-traded corporation, which came to pass in 2006.

Minor achievements

— Secured first imedia interview in years with reclusive Motorola chairman Robert Galvin (for Wall Street Journal, 1969).

— Came up with enduring nickname of “The Frog” for Eugene L. Roberts, legendary executive editor of Philadelphia Inquirer, 1972-1990, later managing editor of New York Times. (Philadelphia magazine, August 1973).

— First published use of the term “Yuppie” as abbreviation for “young urban professional” (Chicago Magazine, May 1980; for details, click here).

— First editor in the U.S. to publish a regular column by an openly gay columnist in a non-gay publication. (“Different Strokes,” by Thom Nickels, which first appeared in the Welcomat, Philadelphia, 1984.)

— First to propose that the Free Library of Philadelphia develop a private fund-raising capability (column in Philadelphia Inquirer, March 1, 1982).

— First journalist to write in print about the nasty real-life persona lurking behind Bill Cosby’s avuncular public image, long before Cosby’s habitual sexual predations were exposed. (Welcomat, Philadelphia, December 9, 1992.)

— First to identify Center City Philadelphia neighborhood of 17th-18th-Walnut-Sansom as “The French Quarter,” later officially designated as such on street signs (Philadelphia Magazine, July 1998).

— A quarter-century before Donald Trump got into politics, I presciently (albeit facetiously) proposed that he be executed as a public nuisance (Welcomat, Philadelphia, July 17, 1991).