Bill Whitaker is a featured correspondent on CBS’s 60 Minutes, which since its founding in 1968, is widely considered the most successful and venerated news magazine show in the history of broadcast journalism. In this episode, Bill speaks about his long journey to get there, beginning with being raised and educated in the presciently named Media, Pennsylvania. With the help of various educators, Bill’s curiosity for history and storytelling led to a fascinating journalistic career, taking him through newsrooms in San Francisco, Charlotte, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beijing; but Bill’s keenest insights are saved for his current post in New York on 60 Minutes. What was it like to blow the lid off the opioid epidemic through a 4-episode investigation led by 60 Minutes producer and Harvard-Westlake alumnus Sam Hornblower ’97? How did it feel to be at the US Capitol just days after the siege? And how does 60 Minutes inculcate and sustain its unparalleled culture of journalistic excellence? Bill cites Elinor Cadman of Media Elementary School, as well as Robert Huff and Richard Reinitz of Hobart College, as profound educational influences.
Monthly Archives: March 2021
In 1978, a 16-year old Pam Shriver upset the #1 women’s tennis player in the world, Martina Navratilova, to reach the US Open Women’s Final. This improbable showing launched a professional tennis career in which Pam would win an Olympic gold medal in 1988, reach #3 in the world in women’s singles, and garner a staggering 22 grand slam doubles titles–20 of them partnering with that same US Open semifinal foe, Martina Navratilova. In this episode, Pam describes growing up a sports lover in Baltimore, MD, Billie Jean King’s inspiring example, Martina Navratilova’s fearlessness and “growth mindset,” and how a championship playing career migrated into a broadcasting career at ESPN, where she covers grand slam tennis today. In addition to Billie Jean King, Pam cites Marty McKibbin of McDonogh School and congresswoman Jane Harman as inspiring life influences.
Beanie Feldstein ’11, whose acting credits include critically acclaimed films like Lady Bird and Booksmart, in addition Broadway’s Hello Dolly, was nine years old when Ted Walch cast her in Harvard-Westlake’s upper school production of The Sound of Music. This led to a lifelong friendship and mentorship that influences every role Beanie inhabits to this day. In this episode, Beanie also speaks about the unwavering support of her family and friends. Firstly, parents who provided grounding and encouragement from the beginning, as well as her older brother, actor Jonah Hill, who became a profound mentor much later in life. Secondly, her Harvard-Westlake classmates, who remain her closest friends and greatest creative inspirations. Beanie tells the moving story of watching her high school prom date, Ben Platt ’11, win a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical in 2017–a moment she had foreshadowed years earlier. In addition to Ted Walch of Harvard-Westlake, Beanie references Anne Gesling of the Morgan-Wixson Theatre and film director Greta Gerwig as profound life influences.
Ellen Chen and Mario Del Pero are the married founders of California restaurant chain Mendocino Farms. In this episode, Ellen and Mario describe the many changes eateries like theirs were forced to undergo over the past year, including migrating a huge percentage of their business “off-premise,” which meant leaning heavily into both technological innovation and a defined employee culture and set of core values. Ellen and Mario also discuss their families and backgrounds. Ellen, a Taiwanese immigrant, has roots in manufacturing and management consulting, while Mario is a third-generation northern California agriculturalist. Despite their differences, Ellen and Mario represent a unique partnership, having harnessed their disparate skills to successfully lead Mendocino Farms’ evolution from a confined urban gastropub to the thriving suburban family oasis of today. Ellen and Mario cite restaurant industry mentors Tom Simms and Dee Stein, as well as USC professor Steven Lamy, as inspiring life influences.