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Letter: Forst inspired a young journalist

I was saddened to learn of the death of Don Forst, one of the people who influenced me, more than 50 years ago, to pursue a career in journalism ["A Newsday leader on LI, in city," News, Jan. 5].

In the late 1950s, I took a class in journalism at Lafayette High School. Our teacher, Mal Largmann (who went on to be the first principal of the revived, renowned Townsend Harris High School), assigned the class to interview a reporter. I chose a New York Post reporter whose byline I was familiar with: Don Forst.

I wrote him a letter, which he answered with a telephone call that my mother received. She told me he said he'd be happy to meet with me in Manhattan.

Along with a classmate, I spoke with him at his apartment, where he brought out a plate of cookies, and answered all my questions about getting into journalism.

Decades later, after working for newspapers, magazines, corporate public relations departments and public relations agencies, I still recall that first encounter with the real deal.

George Haber, Jericho