Boston Globe columnist ALEX BEAM jumped at the chance to profile legendary Los Angeles Times editor and publisher Otis Chandler, '50. And not just because Beam is fascinated with the newspaper business. He is an aficionado of all things California. "As is widely known, California-ism is passed through the mother," jokes Beam, who was born in Oakland in 1954 and lived in Los Angeles in the glory years of Chandler's Times. Beam, who interviewed Chandler in Oxnard, Calif., found the retired publisher "just as advertised—intelligent, brusque and as close to a force of nature as you are likely to find." Beam lives in Newton, Mass., with his wife and three sons, all of whom set up house in Escondido Village in 1996-97 while Beam was a Knight fellow in journalism.
Illustrator TRISHA KRAUSS did her time as a bohemian. She studied fine arts at Syracuse University, then spent four years as a struggling artist in Europe. In 1992, she moved to New York City and found work as a photographer's assistant. By 1996 she was earning a living as a full-time illustrator, working for ad agencies and magazines like Shape, Health and Parenting. When she takes an assignment, Krauss, 34, draws on her own experiences to come up with an image. "With every piece there's something in your own life that evokes a visual," she says. "It might just be remembering a look on someone's face." Her depiction of a couple struggling with Alzheimer's disease appears in this issue.
When we asked MITCH LESLIE to write about Lewis Terman's "genius study", we expected him to delve into IQ controversies. But we didn't expect him to report back that the renowned psychologist was also a fierce eugenicist who believed genes determine intelligence and moral character. Leslie, a writer for Stanford's Medical Center News Bureau and a contributor to Science and WebMD, first encountered this seldom-discussed fact in Stephen Jay Gould's 1981 book The Mismeasure of Man. "I was shocked at first and found it hard to look past Terman's failings," says Leslie, 37. "But it makes a more interesting story."
Writer CYNTHIA HAVEN seemed ideal to tackle the many lives of Dana Gioia, since she's worn so many hats herself. A freelance literary critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, Haven has covered poetry, opera and theater for newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and in Britain. While she was news director at the School of Education, she co-authored two books on learning. More recently, she has seen her own poetry published. "As a journalist, I became convinced that someone needed to describe the contemporary scene in language that would reach the kind of audience that used to be interested in poetry half a century ago," she says. "We are all shareholders in poetry."