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I grew up in farm country in central New Jersey, the second of four siblings. By today's standards, we had a deliriously free childhood: some chores, of course, but also fishing, swimming, playing pick-up baseball and football, ice skating, snowball fights, camping with the Boy Scouts in the nearby Sourland Mountains, and generally making mischief.
After finishing eighth grade in a two room school, I went to Princeton High School, attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and received a Masters Degree from Columbia University's School of International Affairs.
I spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching English in a remote Turkish village near the Russian border and I taught social studies for one year in a high school in Harlem and then moved to Washington D.C. where I created a newsletter reporting on Middle East affairs and edited a scholarly publication called The Middle East Journal.
When the first oil shortage hit in the mid 1970s, I joined Fortune magazine to write about energy and later about a host of issues including finance, management and technology. After more than 20 years at Fortune, I became a communications specialist at McKinsey & Co. and later director of publications at Sarah Lawrence College and an editor at CNBC.com. Today I am semi-retired, writing a blog two days a week called Wells Fargo Daily Advantage.
My wife Kathy Valyi and I live in the Bronx overlooking the grand, historical Hudson River. We have three grown children, one of whom provided the cover art for "Pilgrim in the New Retirement."