The Ones That Got Away

Left: Stephen Harrigan Right: Robert Draper. Robert Draper photograph by Susan Raines

One of the inevitable realities of being in business for nearly 35 years is that you have a lot of ex-employees (all of them gruntled, I’m sure). Even though a surprisingly high number of the names on our masthead—seven!—have been here for more than three decades, the vast majority stay for a while and then transition to someplace or something great. Our writers and editors, in particular, have a history of galloping off to greener pastures. When I give speeches, I tick off all the current A-listers who once upon a time worked for us, and it’s an impressive bunch. It includes, first and foremost, Bill Broyles, our founding editor, now an Academy Award—nominated screenwriter, and Greg Curtis, his successor and my predecessor, the author of two terrific big-think books about art; Nick Lemann, a New Yorker staff writer and the dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism; Joe Nocera, a columnist for the New York Times; Dominique Browning, the editor in chief of House & Garden; Griffin Smith, the executive editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Jim Fallows, a five-time National Magazine Award—nominated writer for the Atlantic; and Larry Wright, a New Yorker staff writer and the winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. We even have a genuine TV personality (John Bloom, known to trash-movie fans the world over as drawling, bolo-tied Joe Bob Briggs) and a with-it first lady (Helen Thorpe, who’s married to the mayor of Denver).

Two other exes with notable accomplishments appear in this month’s issue, not for the first time since they departed the building and surely not for the last, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Steve Harrigan’s post— Texas Monthly

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