The Passing of Kris Lesher-Aring and Newsmakers Blog Sabbatical

As Lesher Speaker Series blog visitors have undoubtedly noticed, this space has been quiet for a time.  We would normally be all a buzz in advance of our first program, especially on the 10th anniversary season.  While tomorrow should be a great program with Cal Ripken, Steve Young and Frank Deford, an unfortunate turn of events in the Lesher Family has precluded the regular blog activity.  My beautiful sister Kris, a board member of the Lesher Foundation and ardent supporter of Newsmakers, passed away Aug. 28 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. 

Though she had been sick for some time, we were not prepared for the sudden turn in her condition.  Kris very rarely missed a Newsmakers event, but her seat will be empty tomorrow night much to our collective sorrow.  So while the show will go on, the blog will not for the time being until I'm able to get "back into it" if you will.

I appreciate everyone's patience and hope you have a wonderful time at the theater tomorrow for what should be a memorable program.

To read more about Kris and her life of passion and purpose, click here. 

- Steve

Q&A With Newsmaker Candace Bushnell

Our Newsmakers friend and Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell was in Australia recently where she sat down with Sydney journalist Kate Waterhouse for her "Dates With Kate" Q&A segment.  You can read it here. 

Date with Kate Waterhouse - Candace Bushnell at The Darling The Star. 16th July 2013Photo Dallas Kilponen

Newsmaker Christopher Hitchens Honored by Friends at NY Book Reading

Controversial authors and commentators Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis and Iwan McEwan got together in New York last week for an evening of reading and reminiscing in which they honored their friend and fellow intellectual, the late Christopher Hitchens.  Hitchens appeared in one of our most memorable Newsmakers programs when he debated Christian educator Dinesh D'Souza on the existence of God.  Read more about Hitchens' friends and their tribute to him from the Associated Press.

Newsmaker Maya Angelou Successful in bid for MLK Quote Correction

The efforts of our Newsmakers friend Maya Angelou and others to correct an error inscribed at the national Martin Luther King Memorial has apparently been successful.  Dr. Angelou was chief among those who complained that the paraphrased passage chiseled in the monument made the late civil rights leader sound arrogant.  The quote will apparently come down in time for the anniversary of King's famous March on Washington.  Read more from ABC

Newsmaker Jane Bryant Quinn on the Lessons of James Gandolfini's Will

Our Newsmakers friend and personal finance expert Jane Bryant Quinn did an interesting piece for her website recently about the will of the recently deceased actor James Gandolfini.  Quinn, who is quite liberal on matters of estate taxes in spite of her work in an industry where most lean to the right, has a take on the issue that is somewhat unique in her field.  You can read her piece here.

Newsmaker Peter Bergen Analyzes Report on Bin Laden's Death

Our Newsmakers friend CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen did an interesting piece for the network recently on Paktistan's report on the death of Osama Bin Laden.  You can read it here. 

Peter Bergen

Newsweek Piece on Newsmaker Jay Leno and The Tonight Show

A very interesting piece on our Newsmakers friend Jay Leno by Lloyd Grove appears in this week's edition of Newsweek.  It looks at the funnyman's career, his current performance as host of NBC's heralded Tonight Show and the drama over the end of his run with the show.

Newsmakers on Martin, Zimmerman and Race in America: Schieffer, Angelou, Carlson, O'Brien, Buchanan, Brazile and Gingrich

As Americans continue to reflect on the George Zimmerman verdict and a conversation about race rekindles, many of our past Lesher speaker Series guests have been sharing their opinions and facilitating others.  See below a summary of Newsmakers alumni and their wide ranging thoughts about the court case and the state of race relations.


Bob Schieffer's roundtable on CBS' Face the Nation

Maya Angelou in Time Magazine

Tucker Carlson on FOX News Sunday

Soledad O'Brien in the Huffintgon Post

Pat Buchanan's syndicated column

Donna Brazile's syndicated column

Newt Gingrich on CNN's State of the Union

How Newsmaker Beane and Depodesta's "Moneyball" Philosophy Can Be Applied to Government

Former Obama advisor Peter Orszag and former Bush '43 advisor John Bridgeland did an interesting piece for The Atlantic about how the "moneyball" philosophy of our Newsmakers friends Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta could be applied in the world of government.  Click here to read about how the methodology that transformed baseball could potentially transform public policy. 

Newsmaker Cal Ripken Enjoys Post-Baseball Business Success

We shared recently about the exploits of past and future Lesher Speaker Series friend Steve Young, who has distinguished himself as a successful businessman in the wake of his football career.  Apparently our Newsmakers friend Cal Ripken, Jr. has enjoyed similar success.  Both Ripken and Young return to the Lesher Center in September in a joint appearance that will kick off our 10th season.  In addition to talking sports with them, maybe we should ask them for some business advice!  Read more about Ripken's post-baseball success in Forbes

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