July 19, 2019

Roy Rowan Is Just Getting Started in New Book

A book launch Reception begins at 6 p.m. with the talk at 7 p.m. Books will be for sale and signing. RSVP by calling the OPC office 212-626-9220, e-mail or log into the website www.opcofamerica.org. To log onto the website: username is first and last name (eg. John Doe), for password help enter your e-mail address where you receive OPC e-mails.



Never Too Late is career correspondent and author Roy Rowan‘s rousing testament to the fact that if you are still in reasonably good health and have a career or set of interests to pursue, your swan-song years can be among your most productive. Rowan, OPC President from 1998-2000 and OPC member for 62 years is a revered journalist who has more stories to tell than can be imagined, all of them true.

The cartoonist who captured a good likeness of Rowan on the book cover is Jerry Dumas who now draws Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois after the demise of their creator Mort Walker. Dumas has been published in The New Yorker, The Washington Post and The New York Times and is the creator of his own comic strip Sam and Silo.

Rowan has written what by his own admission is “probably” my last book. The subtitle is: “A 90-year-old’s Pursuit of a Whirlwind Life.” Roy began his career as a foreign correspondent when he joined Life magazine in 1948 in China. He could regale you with the story of how he happened to meet Henry Luce at a hotel bar in Shanghai. As a correspondent with Time-Life he served as bureau chief in Shanghai (covering the civil war in China) Saigon, Rome, Tokyo (covering the Korean War), Bonn and Chicago. He was also Hong Kong bureau chief covering the Vietnam War and was one of the last to be evacuated by helicopter from Saigon in 1975.

As a change of pace, he spent two weeks living on the streets of New York City as a homeless man for an article in People magazine.

He has written multiple books — “The Four Days of Mayaguez” “The Intuitive Manager” and “Powerful People” but one of his most successful books was called “First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends.” The new President Bill Clinton was not included in the first printing of the book in 1997 since at the time the Clintons only had a pet cat named Socks, so you could say Roy was instrumental in the Clintons getting a dog. Roy reprinted the book with a chapter on “Buddy” the new first dog. We are all still waiting for the movie version of “Chasing the Dragon,” a memoir of Mao’s revolution.

The most succinct and amusing blurb comes from Brian Williams of NBC News: “Only Roy Rowan could have written this book: part world tour, part excursion into the human body. From the war zones to the political conventions, from baseball to anti-inflammatories, from Mao to Mark Twain, this is the stuff of life, and a how-to-guide to growing older in great fashion.”

Another OPC President from 2004-2006 and founder of People magazine, Richard Stolley, has also written an insightful blurb: “Rowan is not exactly like you and me: he fought in one war and covered three others, palled around with Presidents, ran the New York Marathon, and survived three cancers. But out of all these adventures and crises, he has written a book that is marvelously beneficial to every one of us on the far side of middle age. ‘Do not go gentle,’ he insists, ‘but live with the three E’s: Enthusiasm, Exertion, and Energy.’ If you do, Scouts Honor, you’ll move up the alphabet to wonder years of Pride, Productivity, and Passion”

Jordan Bonfante will be the Interlocutor. Roy was Jordan’s boss at Life magazine and they were colleagues during both of their long careers at Time magazine.