David Frost had a successful, decades long career as a television talk show host and interviewer, in both the UK and the US.
He interviewed thousands of VIPs, celebrities, and movers and shakers of all kinds.
But he may be best remembered for his 1977 series of interviews with former President Richard M. Nixon, who just three years earlier had resigned the presidency in disgrace after the Watergate scandal.
Frost paid Nixon some $600,000 for those interviews. But they paid off, big time, as they became a part of American television history, and helped restore some of Nixon’s credibility.
I met David Frost 30 years later, when he wrote a book called Frost/Nixon, a behind the scenes account of how the interviews came about, and what happened when the cameras stopped ruling.
The latter half of the 1960s was, to say the least, a turbulent time in America.
Anti war demonstrations were escalating, Civil rights and women’s rights movements were growing. As the government tried to control the chaos,it made many of its critics even more radical.
As the decade drew to a close violence and even bombings became It’s everyday occurrences .
One of those caught up in this maelstrom was the young Cathy Wilkerson. She joined the radical Weather Underground Organization sometimes known simply as Weatherman.
Wilkerson’s father owned a townhouse in New York’s Greenwich Village. She and other Weather underground members turned it into a bomb factory. On March 6, 1970, one of their bombs exploded in the basement, destroying the home and killing three people.
Wilkerson, and fellow Weatherman Kathy Boudin, escaped with their lives, and became fugitives from the FBI.
Wilkerson remained in hiding for a decade, before surrendering in 1980, and serving a few months in prison.
Ultimately she became a high school math teacher.
In 2007 she finally wrote her memoir, a book called Flying Close to The Sun. And that’s when I met her.
Indian-born author Salman Rushdie was building a solid literary reputation in the 1980s. His novels won several prestigious awards.
But it was his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, that earned him not accolades, but I death sentence, pronounced by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Rushdie spent the next several years essentially in hiding, with constant death threats hanging over him.
Gradually, however, he re-emerged in public, and by 2002 was again going on author tours. That’s when I first met him, as we talked about his non-fiction book Step Across This Line.
So here now from 2002 Salman Rushdie.
Salman Rushdie is 76 now/.
One year ago this weekend Rushdie was attacked on stage at a lecture in New York. He was seriously injured. His attacker was arrested and charged with attempted murder. The government of Iran has denied any involvement.