I spoke this week for the first time in 30 years with Tom Bongiorno. Unbeknownst to him, his family played important roles in The Brooklyn Paper’s conception.
In the mid-1960s, Tom’s father Ralph, who had been the Brooklyn Eagle’s production manager and sports editor when it closed in 1963, founded and edited the weekly Brooklyn Times. He provided me with an exceptional opportunity, allowing me to write, edit and design a weekly multi-page teen section. This was heady stuff for a kid.
The germination of the business that would evolve into The Brooklyn Paper began through a fortuitous meeting with Ralph, and his son Tom, at 26 Court St. a decade later.
That’s how Tom’s picture ended up appearing on the front page of our very first edition (pictured above), illustrating a story about rebellious secretaries. That’s Tom’s secretary in the picture about to pour a pot of coffee over his head.