As public scandals go, this one might seem pretty benign, by today’s low bar. But in 1984, it was a big story when it was revealed that the authoirities had broken up a high-priced Manhattan escort service that was being run by a woman named Sydney Biddle Barrows.
Now, when a New York Post reporter uncovered the fact that the 32-year-old Barrows is from the Biddle family of Philadelphia, and is a direct descendant of some of the original Mayflower settlers, he dubbed her the “Mayflower Madam” — and the name stuck.
Within two years of her company being put out of business, Barrows wrote a bestselling autobiography, called, of course, “The Mayflower Madam.”
That’s when I first met her.
So here now, from 1986, Mayflower Madam Sydney Biddle Barrows:
Sydney Biddle Barrows is 73 now. She’s a management consultant and writer.
Wilma Mankiller’s journey into leadership in the Cherokee nation was not planned. She started as an advocate for rural development within her community, gradually rising through the ranks of Cherokee leadership.
In the 1980s she was the first woman elected to Principal Chief.
Her 1993 autobiography, Mankiller, gave her the opportunity to fill a void of knowledge about ANative American history and culture.
Her story, as she recountss in this interview, was not only one of personal resilience but also a testament to the strength of Native American communities.
So here now, from 1993, Wilman Mankiller.
Wilma Mankiller was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And in 2022 her likeness appeared on the quarter-dollar coin minted by the U.S. Treasury.
Mankiller died from pancreatic cancer in 2010. She was 64.
Born in 1941, Maureen was the eldest child of Reagan and his first wife, actress Jane Wyman. By her late teens, Maureen was becoming active in politics. She later played roles in her father’s presidential campaigns, and ran for Congress herself.
In 1989, just a few months after Ronald Reagan left office, Maureen wrote an admiring book called First Father, First Daughter. That’s when I met her.
So here now, from 1989, Maureen Reagan.
Maureen Reagan died of cancer in 2001. She was 60.
As many others of his generation were, former Colorado, senator Gary Hart was inspired to get into politics by John f. Kennedy, and Robert f. Kennedy, and their contemporaries in the 1960s.
By 1972, hard had established himself as a rising star in the Democratic party, and ran George McGovern’s unsuccessful campaign for president.
Two years later, heart ran for US Senate from Colorado and one. He was reelected in 1980. But he had his sights set on higher office.
He ran for president in 1984, narrowly losing the nomination to Walter Mondale. And he ran again in 1988, until his candidacy was done in by allegations of sexual misconduct.
I had the chance to interview Gary Hart several times during the 1980s and ’90s, including the interview you’re about to hear. Heart had just written another book reflecting on his years as someone who tried to be a political reformer .
For context, this interview was conducted less than 6 months after Bill Clinton was first elected president. And no one, including Gary Hart, knew exactly what the next few years would bring.
So here now, from 1993, Gary Hart:
Gary Hart is 85 now and remains active in public service.
It’s super bowl weekend, and as we prepare to watch the Rams and Bengals in super bowl 56, let me take you back to super bowl 22 in January 1988 between the Washington Redskins and the Denver broncos.
The quarterback for the Redskins that evening was 32-year-old. Doug Williams.
And by halftime, Williams had made NFL history. In the second quarter alone, he passed for $340 yards and four touchdowns. The Redskins ended up as super bowl champions, and Williams was the game’s MVP.
He was the first black quarterback to start and win a super bowl.
A couple of years later, he wrote an autobiography called Quarterblack.
And even though this interview is 30 years old, it still seems very relevant today, especially in light of the Brian Flores lawsuit against the NFL.
So here now, from 1990, Doug Williams.
Doug Williams of 66 now. He’s an executive with the Washington Redskins, now known as the Washington Commanders.