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Andrew HeiskellAndrew Heiskell
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Billings, no. No, I don't think so. I don't think he held strong political views. As a matter of fact, apart from pigs and trains I have a little trouble trying to think back as to what it was that he really did believe in one way or the other. He was as close to a perfect machine managing editor as a person could be. He had it all under control. Everything was always organized. He had a sense of sequence of work, as he had a sense of sequence of layout, and how stories should come one after another, and how to make up a whole issue.


So where would the art and inspiration come from?


Well, he also had this rather crazy number two man Dan Longwell, who was jumping up and down with ideas every minute. John would sort of look at it, smile mildly and let Dan have all the ideas. Then he would just pick and choose among them, and say, “Yes, we'll do that one. We won't do that one”. His other main sidekick was Wilson Hicks, who was the picture editor. He ran the photographers, and of course, was involved in the assignment process, and the direction of photographers, and the direction of stories. Those three people ran what was then a very small organization. I think there were maybe ten or twelve people like myself. I was Science and Medicine editor at the time. There was a Foreign Affairs editor, and a National Affairs editor. I don't know that we even had Modern Living at that point. There were a few editors who were hired as writers. That turned out to be quite frustrating for many of them because they never had enough space. Geoffrey Helman was one of

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