- Michael Kernan
Michael Jenkins Kernan, Jr. (April 29, 1927 - May 4, 2005) was an American author and journalist. He was born in Utica, New York and grew up outside Clinton, New York, where his father Michael J. Kernan (1884-1952) was an investment broker and New York State Senator (Dem, 1933-34). His great-grandfather Francis Kernan (1816-1892) was a U.S. Senator (D-NY).
Kernan graduated from Harvard University in 1949, and began working for the Watertown Daily Times, staying there until 1953. From 1953 to 1966 he was an editor and reporter for the Redwood City Tribune, a paper in California. Kernan's long career at the Washington Post started in 1967. In 1969 he became one of the founding journalists of the new Style section. He would remain at the Post in the Style section for the rest of his primary career, writing articles on a wide variety of subjects, including about his speech impediment of stuttering. Kernan's final story as a staff writer was on June 18, 1989.
Kernan published a novel The Lost Diaries of Frans Hals (1994), and a work of non-fiction The Violet Dots (1978), about a British soldier who fought in the Battle of the Somme in World War I. He published over 100 articles for the Smithsonian Magazine, including seven years writing the "Around the Mall and Beyond" column.
Benjamin C. Bradlee, executive editor of The Post, described Kernan as a "poet in newspaperman's clothing." Mary Hadar, former editor of the Post's Style section, said "He was a glorious writer who could make anything interesting."
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