Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Incomparable Earl ~ an Appreciation ~

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

The Incomparable Earl ~ an Appreciation ~

Article excerpt

A man of quality." The phrase might have been invented to describe Earl Foell in his many key roles at The Christian Science Monitor. But he would know the quote went back to Shakespeare. Or he might make that most flattering of phone calls as if only you could help him recall the source. Then, out of the blue, he'd mention some long- ago shared moment of fun that was in his prodigious memory bank.

Earl's quality was not in the Shakespearean sense of rank or degree, though he rose through all the Monitor ranks. This man's quality defined a life as not just what you do but what you are. And it's what he was that enabled the journalistic achievements now being celebrated anew after his passing July 10.

Here was a global thinker before it became fashionable. An intellectual explorer questing beyond humanity's problems to humanity's problem-solvers. An interviewer of world leaders from China's Deng Xiaoping to the Czechs' Vclav Havel, including three chancellors of Germany and every American president since Eisenhower. Switch to Earl the gardener analyzing Japanese plots or growing sorrel for soup. The tennis player. The musician (an off-the-record violinist) finding common ground with German statesman Helmut Schmidt (a recorded pianist). The discerning lover of art and architecture and books. The mathematics graduate (with honors from Principia College in Illinois). The conservationist eager to know how changing a light bulb can save oil. The maker of maple-sugar candy. The fosterer of diversity and human rights. The family man (wife Cordelia, three sons, three grandchildren). This is part of what lies behind the byline Earl W. Foell and one of the friendliest smiles on the planet. The copy boy arrived at the Monitor from Houston, Texas, in 1949, went off to the service, and came back to be reporter, editorial writer, foreign correspondent, and United Nations bureau chief, president of the 250-member UN Correspondents Association, winner of a Sigma Delta Chi award for best UN coverage in 1963. After a couple of years away with the Los Angeles Times, he returned to be the Monitor's managing editor, editor, and editor in chief. In the latter role, Earl presided over an unprecedented Monitor initiative, the Peace 2010 essay competition on how to bring peace to the world, with an international panel of independent judges. More than 1,200 scenarios for peace came in. Earl quoted one that epitomized the bedrock hope he shared: "For every potential war one can find dozens of solid ideas for avoiding it. There are always more constructive solutions for an impasse than destructive ones." Earl went beyond the printed page and service with US and international press organizations to act on his convictions as a trustee of the World Peace Foundation. In 1988 he became editor in chief of World Monitor: The Christian Science Monitor Monthly, a five-year venture bringing together articles not only by international journalists, but by major players in various fields - from Zbigniew Brzezinski on geopolitics and Sir John Templeton on investing, to Julie Harris on acting and Harold Prince on taking a Broadway show abroad. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.