Robert Black Recounts his 65-Year History as OPC Member

OPC member Robert Black, now 91 years old, sent the following remembrance about his career and history with the OPC, talking about his joining the club 65 years ago and some early club details including covering an OPC luncheon when Bob Considine was president. He became an adjunct professor of journalism at Florida Southern College in 1995, now retired from teaching but is still writing for the college.

Sixty five years ago (almost time to retire?) I joined the Overseas Press Club. Seems like yesterday.

I was a student at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism about ready to graduate in 1955 and had the assignment of covering an OPC luncheon at the 39th Street Headquarters. Bob Considine was OPC president and presiding and we talked after the lunch. He found out I’d been on Stars & Stripes in Tokyo during the Korean War and said he’d sponsor me. Sounded like a good place to network for a job, so I joined up.

I am still an active member, was a member of the House Committee on 40th Street and even public relations chair under Will Yolen.

I was co-founder of the Overseas Yacht Club – an OPC group of frustrated former sailors – with such worthies as Ruth Biemiller, Charlie Schreiber, Al Wall and others who stayed occasionally sober. I was the first Fleet Chaplain, which explains a lot. We founded the OYC whilst crossing the bar at 40th Street.

Worked for some pretty good magazines, did a lot of free-lancing, held a lot of public relations jobs and in 1995 became an adjunct professor of journalism at my undergrad school, Florida Southern College (1951). Ran my own small p.r. agency from 1974 to 2015 while free-lancing in sports journalism.

Retired and unretired to go back to teaching journalism and public relations—which I’ve been doing and now have switched off and doing some writing for the College. It’s simply too hard to teach remotely during this COVID gig.

Back in the days when I was drinking (!), the bar of the OPC was a wondrous place of top journos and some captains of journalistic organizations. Great stories every day at lunch. Brilliant and smart men and women. It was a joy (and a learning experience) to be part of it.

At 91, I figured I should get this paean to the OPC on the record before memory starts to fade or my fingers turn to ice in the current Florida cold snap.