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Daniel Okrent: Author, Journalist, Editor, & Inventor of Fantasy Sports

Daniel Okrent: Author, Journalist, Editor, & Inventor of Fantasy Sports

 

Introduction to Daniel Okrent. 0:52 sec.  Interview:  Raymond Elman.  Videography & Production:  Kimberly Urias. 

 

DANIEL OKRENT is the award-winning author of six books, including The Guarded Gate, and Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (2011), which was cited by the American Historical Association as the year’s best book on American history. Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in history. Among his many jobs in publishing, he was corporate editor-at-large at Time Inc., and was the first public editor of the New York Times.

Okrent served on the board of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery for 12 years, including a four-year term (2003-2007) as chairman, and remains a board member of the Skyscraper Museum and the Authors Guild. A native of Detroit and a graduate of the University of Michigan, he now lives half the year in New York and the other half on Cape Cod with his wife, poet Rebecca Okrent; they have two grown children.

— from DanielOkrent.com

The videos below are organized by topic and run between 30 seconds and 7 minutes. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

DEVELOP A VOICE: 0:42 sec.

Where did you grow up and what’s your earliest memory of art of any discipline?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 1:30 min.

Why did you consider yourself to be inadequate as a reporter?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES : 1:09 min.

How did you know you wanted to become a reporter at the age of 6 or 7?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY: 6:30 min.

What did you learn in college that still informs you today?

 

STRONG DRIVE FOR ACHIEVEMENT: 4:15 min.

Describe the arc of your career as an editor.

 

OPEN TO CHANGE, FLEXIBILITY: 1:27 min.

Why did you move to Worthington, Massachusetts?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART: 0:56 sec.

In what ways was New England Monthly successful and where did it fail?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 2:50 min.

How did you become the first Public Editor of the New York Times?

 

DEVELOP A VOICE: 1:37 min.

What were the high points and low points of being the first Public Editor of the New York Times?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 4:14 min.

What were some of the key topics that you discussed in your NYT Public Editor’s column, that called attention to problems in journalistic protocol?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 3:46 min.

It seems like the problems you spotlighted as Public Editor are now on steroids in the age of social media. What should the average person do to inoculate themselves from lies?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE: 0:58 sec.

Is there any objectivity in journalism?

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY: 3:20 min.

Describe the arc of your career as an author. Your first book was about baseball, and then you jumped to non-sports topics.

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 2:43 min.

Considering your last three books focused on the same time period, were you able to apply the research you did for Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center toward Last Call and The Guarded Gate?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES: 2:52 min.

What was it like working with Ken Burns, who made a documentary about Prohibition based on your book Last Call: The Rise and Fall Of Prohibition?

 

SERENDIPITY: 2:15 min

What was your experience being an on-screen commentator for Woody Allen in Sweet and Lowdown?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART: 0:30 sec.

Because of the success of making movies out of Accidental Billionaires (The Social Network) and Bringing Down the House (21), Ben Mezrich told me that he now writes all of his books with an eye converting them to film. Have you considered making movies out of your books?

 

COLLABORATION: 3:07 min.

Describe the experience of creating a Broadway play called Old Jews Telling Jokes.

 

STRONG DRIVE FOR ACHIEVEMENT: 2:12 min.

Talk about your love affair with crossword puzzles.

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 2:33 min.

What inspired you to write The Guarded Gate, a book about immigration, which you began well before our current “Trumped” up crisis?

 

EMPATHY: 0:45 sec.

The immigrants presented in The Guarded Gate are mostly Caucasians.

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE: 1:26 min.

You did a wonderful interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. Have you done any interviews with politically conservative hosts?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 1:03 min.

What are similarities and dissimilarities between the bigotry and discrimination you describe in The Guarded Gate and Trump’s 21st century anti-immigration policies?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 1:57 min.

How pervasive was anti-Semitism among the Protestant upper classes in the beginning of the 20th century?

 

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART: 1:07 min

What are your thoughts about Mitch Kaplan, Books & Books, and the Miami Book Fair?

 

INSIGHT & INSPIRATION: 2:32 min.

Who are your role models and influencers?

 

COLLABORATION: 0:58 sec.

Do you have writer friends with whom you discuss writing?

 

UNDERSTANDS THE BUSINESS OF ART: 0:52 sec.

Why has the quality of editing diminished in the book publishing industry?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE PERSONAL BRAND: 1:18 min.

You are known as the inventor or godfather of fantasy sports.

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 0:54 sec.

You have a wonderful life right now. If you had been able to monetize fantasy sports and earned vats of money, would your life be improved?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED: 1:46 min. 

Describe a challenging situation with a successful outcome?