Photograph by Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times
Norman Chandler, left, during the luncheon to announce that his son, Otis, was the new publisher of The Times.
|April 12, 1960: Otis Chandler is named publisher of the Los Angeles Times. In a speech to more than 700 civic leaders at the Biltmore Bowl, Norman Chandler said: “Otis, as my successor and as my son, I say to you — you are assuming a sacred trust and grave responsibilities. I have the utmost confidence that you will never falter in fulfilling these obligations. This trust is dearer than life itself.”
In his speech, Otis Chandler replied: “I pledge to you to carry out the sound principles which have guided you. I will not let you down. It is with humility and gratitude that I accept.”
And in 1999, Otis Chandler echoed these words in his famous memo dictated to then-City Editor Bill Boyarsky during the Staples scandal: “When I think back through the history of this great newspaper I realize how fragile and irreplaceable public trust in a newspaper is. This public trust and faith in a newspaper by its employees, its readers, the community, is dearer to me than life itself.”
I never realized until now that he was referring to his father’s speech 39 years earlier; a speech that everyone else had probably forgotten – except him.