July 10 ~  Lay a Firm Foundation Days of Destiny

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her." ~ David Brinkley

Broadcast journalist David McClure Brinkley (1920-2003) was born on this day in Wilmington, North Carolina. In laying the firm foundation of his life, he joined NBC News in 1943 as White House Correspondent, then teamed with Chet Huntley for 14 seasons in the highly-rated and awarded Huntley/Brinkley Report.

Calling his experience with Huntley "a grand and glorious adventure," Brinkley said much of their on-air chemistry was spontaneous.

"I talked when I felt like talking and he talked when he felt like talking, and it just worked fine. Nothing was planned. There was no schedule; there was no script; it was all ad-lib. And not everybody can do it, but we could do it and we did do it, and did it very well."

They were legends in their time.

"Being an anchor is not just a matter of sitting in front of a camera and looking pretty," said the outspoken Brinkley, known for his dry wit and distinctive delivery.

He joined ABC News in 1981, stayed another 16 years, then left in 1997 with a roar. After covering every presidential race since 1956 and 22 political conventions, Brinkley noted on-air that President Clinton "has not a creative bone in his body. Therefore, he's a bore and will always be a bore."

Since his retirement, the newsman continues to write. "That's what I like to do," he said, "That's the only thing I'm any good at."

Fellow journalist Sam Donaldson praised Brinkley's talents: "He can take a story, compress it into nine or 10 words, and have greater clarity and punch then when I write two paragraphs and his voice is so distinctive, anything he says is interesting simply because he says it."

Chicago Manual of StyleFortify your spirit when the bricks are thrown.