In recent years, it became commonplace to compare legendary and controversial former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo with Donald Trump. Perhaps that was why I finally read Frank Rizzo: The Last Big Man in Big City America, the influential biography published in 1993 by Sal Paolantonio. It is a familiar part of the foundation of the Philadelphia canon so it’s long been on my list.
Below I share my notes from the book.
Continue reading Notes from Sal Paolantonio’s landmark 1993 biography of Frank Rizzo
Perhaps more than any other profession, journalists live in moments, that hour’s story, that day’s deadline.
Zack Stalberg was made a legend for his Frank Rizzo moment. As a 2001 Philadelphia Weekly profile suggested:
Within two years the night rewrite kid is a City Hall reporter covering Frank Rizzo at a time when Rizzo was, as Stalberg recalls, “unstoppable … He was going to be governor and his image was untarnished and then–boom!” Boom, of course, was Stalberg himself, who persuaded the mayor to take a lie detector test to resolve a political dispute. Rizzo, as the whole city knows, failed the test in grand fashion, and Stalberg, as the whole city also knows, became someone who would make a name for himself. [Source]
Continue reading Journalists are victors of the moment