The New Yorker has a profile of Business Insider Editor-In-Chief/CEO/Founder Henry Blodget done by the legendary Ken Auletta.
Auletta’s biographical chops are really on display here, as he coaxes out details of Henry that many of us in the office have never heard before.
So here are 5 things I just learned about my boss.
Henry used to be an avid chess player (which is odd, since I used to play chess avidly, and yet we’ve never played):
At Yale, Blodget was a history major and, he said, “a loner.” Leigh Raymond, who teaches political science at Purdue University, was Henry’s roommate during their four years at Yale. When they met, Raymond, who had attended public school in Rochester, New York, was struck by Blodget’s self-assurance and range: Blodget played tennis, chess, and Frisbee, rock-climbed, sang a cappella, and was practicing for a pilot’s licence. Blodget’s aplomb “intimidated people,” Raymond recalled; some students considered him aloof, because “he was not a big person for small talk.”
Henry is interested in undoing his ban from Wall Street at some point. He told Auletta:
“…10 years ago, I got what amounted to a dishonorable discharge from the industry, and I’ve always been ashamed of that. At some point, if it seems appropriate, I would like to explore the possibility of being reinstated.”
Henry is a nationally ranked tennis player:
A few years ago, Blodget and his father were ranked nationally as doubles partners in the Super-Senior Father/Son Tournament.
Henry wrote a 600-page memoir about being a teacher in Japan (it never got published):
Blodget spent a year teaching English in Japan, in a rural community several hours west of Osaka. Afterward, he moved to San Francisco and again roomed with Raymond, who had a job in the city. Blodget was a good enough tennis player to become an instructor. At night, he worked on a six-hundred-page memoir about his year in Japan.
Henry held some seriously low level journalism jobs:
When he couldn’t get his book published, Blodget moved to New York. He took a series of junior editorial jobs: as a fact-checker at the National Audubon Society, a proofreader at Harper’s, a reporter at a small newspaper in Massachusetts, and a reporter on the businessnews desk at CNN, which ignited his interest in business.
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