Gordon Cooper

Gordon Cooper was the youngest of the seven original Mercury astronauts, the ones who famously had “the right stuff.”

He was a World War II fighter pilot, later a test pilot who was chosen as one of the first seven astronaut in 1959.

As part of the Mercury program, Cooper was the first American astronaut to spend an entire day in space, and the first to sleep in space.

And later Cooper was a key member of the Gemini program. He retired from NASA in 1970.

I met and interviewed him thirty years later. Here, now, my interview with Gordon Cooper from 2000:

Astronaut Gordon Cooper died on October 4th, 2004 at age 77.

Gen. Benjamin O. Davis

Benjamin O. Davis Jr. played a key role in World War II.

Not only were his combat accomplishments extraordinary, but his leadership helped shape the United States Air Force for decades to come.

Davis was the leader of the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

As commander of the 99th Fighter Squadron and 332nd Fighter Group in Europe, Davis demonstrated that African-American pilots were just as skilled as their white counterparts.

Benjamin O. Davis flew sixty missions in the war.

He later became the first African-American general in the U.S. Air Force.

I met General Davis upon publication of his memoir. Here now, my 1992 interview with General Benjamin O. Davis.

General Benjamin O. Davis died at age 89 on the Fourth of July, 2002. He’s buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Frank Warrren

It all started over 15 years ago, when an ordinary guy from Maryland named Frank Warren kaunched a project, to encourage people to share secrets.

Not just ordinary secrets, either. The postcards he started to get, from total strangers, were touching, some
were poignant, some were weird or alarming, some were hilarious.

Soon, Frank had enough material for a book — several books, in fact — a website, a traveling show…

I first met Frank Warren in 2005, when his first book, “PostSecret,” was published.

Cong. John Lewis

He is an icon of the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. John Lewis has been at the forefront of the effort.

He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) when he helped organize the 1963 March on Washington.

But Lewis paid a price for his activism, often facing violence and nearly being beaten to death.

Today he is in his 17th term representing Georgia’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

February 21, 2020 is his 80th birthday.

Hank Aaron

This weekend marks the start of the spring 2020 Major League Baseball exhibition schedule.

It was in a spring many years ago that I got to meet and interview one of my boyhood idols: the legendary and once home run king Hank Aaron.

Now, when I was growing up, Ernie Banks of the Cubs was my main man, but Hank Aaron was right up there – and not just because we share a birthday. In 1974, Aaron broke the record that had stood for decades: Babe Ruth’s 714 lifetime home runs. Aaron’s record stood until Barry Bonds broke itt in 2007.

So here now is my interview with Hammerin’ Hank from 1991.

Hank Aaron celebrated his 86th birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Larry King

Boy, you want to talk about somebody who has REALLY heard everything! For decades, Larry King has been an institution on radio and TV.

He had an overnight radio show that had an audience of millions.

He was on CNN for years and years. He has literally interviewed anybody who’s anybody.

I’ve intervied HIM several times, including this conversation, some thirty years ago.

Larry King celebrated his 86th birthday last November, and is still working. He hosts “Larry King Now” and “Politicking with Larry King,” seen on Hulu and RT America.

Carl Reiner

Carl Reiner is an American icon — comedian, actor, director, screenwriter, author.

Remember him as Alan Brady on TV’s “Dick Van Dyke Show”?

He’s won nine Emmys, a Grammy, and The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

He teamed up for decades with Mel Brooks in the “2000 Year Old Man.”

And he’s the father of actor and director Rob Reiner.

I first met Carl Reiner in 1993 when he wrote a novel called “All Kinds of Love.”

Carl Reiner will be 98 years old in about a month.

Mary Higgins Clark

Late last month America lost one of its most popular mystery writers.

Mary Higgins Clark first rose to prominence in the mid-1970s with her book, “Where Are The Children?”

In the years that followed, she had dozens of bestsellers, many of which were made into television movies.

I first met Mary in 1989, and over the next 20 years interviewed her 14 times.

This interview is from 1992, a conversation about her life as a writer, and her early rejections.

Eugene McCarthy

Who would have thought that coming in second in a primary election could actually seem like you won?

In 1968, Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy finished such a close second to incumbent Lyndon Johnson that it spelled the end of the Johnson reelection candidacy.

A few days after McCarthy’s surprise second-place showing, Robert F. Kennedy joined the race, and just a couple of weeks later, Johnson dropped out.

I first met Eugene McCarthy in 1987, for this interview.

Charlton Heston

What can you say about the Hollywood legend Charlton Heston?

He’s been a favorite actor of mine since I was a kid. Ben-Hur. El Cid. The Ten Commandments. Planet of the Apes. Earthquake. Soylent Green (“Soylent Green is people!”)

Who doesn’t have a favorite Charlton Heston film?

I met and interviewed him in 1995 when he wrote his autobiography, In The Arena.