The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

April 3, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

Henry Robinson Luce

Henry Robinson Luce was born April 3, 1898 of missionary parents in the Shantung Province of China. He died in Phoenix, Arizona, on Feb.28, 1967. In his almost 69 years, he became perhaps the pre-eminent journalist of the 20th century -- the founder of a publishing empire that set a new standard of excellence and had a worldwide influence that lasted until he died, though not much longer. Luce graduated from Yale in 1920, went to work as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and the Baltimore News, and then, in 1922, with a fellow reporter named Britton Hadden, launched the world's first weekly newsmagazine, which he and Hadden called Time. The two of them trained their writers in a colorful style. People in a Time story never "walked." They ambled or hustled, they shuffled or they hopped. They never "said" anything. They drawled or stuttered, they sputtered or they argued or they swore. Saints or sinners were known by their (frequently loaded) double-adjectives, a trick copied from the oldest literary works in the history of Western Civilization, the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer. And readers hardly ever had to wonder who the good guys were. Time told them. "Objectivity is as undesirable as it is impossible," Time's editors declared, as they invented and refined what they called "interpretive reporting." Facts were not simply facts, but information we were supposed to use -- to make sense out of a chaotic world, to vote for the proper heroes and impeach the villains who would otherwise do us in. Under Luce's guidance, Time went after the century's major heresy, Communism, but it dinged a number of overly zealous anti-Communists as well. Luce had faith in "private enterprise" and he believed the world would be a better place if that private enterprise could be emulated around the world. (In fact, since the fall of Communism over much of the world in 1989, Luce's private enterprise is making a better world, even in nominally Communist China.) In 1030, Luce celebrated private enterprise in a special way with Fortune magazine, bravely launched in the middle of the Great Depression. And, with the introduction of Life magazine in 1936, he became the prime exponent of a glossy new photojournalism that helped the world see itself in a new way. Life folded in the early 1970s, undone by a new medium that was helping us see ourselves in another way: television. And Time itself, though still a force, has lost its unique character, mostly because newspapers like The New York Times are doing better interpretive reporting of their own, and on a daily basis.

MODEL: Luce's curiosity. He never lost his sense of wonder, and he could ask more questions in a half hour than most people ask in a year. Never be afraid to ask, "Why?" Or, "How do you know that?" Or, "For example?"

Your Birthday Today:

April 3
Day of the Center

Easy-going, Natural, Fun-loving

Demanding, Naive, Controlling

Center of attention. If you were born on April 3, you want to be wanted, to have others turn to you for your knowledge or talents. Ruled by the number 3 and the planet Jupiter, you like to direct others by the power of suggestion or non-verbal cues.

Control freak. Governing your world is very important to you. Though you don't bark orders like a tyrant, you do expect others to listen and follow your lead. (You don't enjoy being ignored.) Your laid back style is appealing and wins the loyalty of those you direct.

The human equation. You have a strong grasp of human nature, though you may be too simplistic at times. You're not afraid to speak your mind and get to the root of a problem, and this can get you into trouble. But mostly, others value your insights and count on your strong presence in times of crisis.

Group dynamo. You are quite capable of working alone, but your work in groups is where you really shine. You can bring together two very different warring parties by the force of your personality. But you have a tendency to play favorites and grow dependent on certain others, which may cause problems.

Hard to pin down. You can be naive and realistic, selfish and responsible, childlike and mature. People don't know what to expect from you next. You can make tremendous errors of judgment, due to your rigid belief system, but because there is no meanness behind it, you are generally forgiven.

Some advice: Don't get hooked on the appreciation of others. Work on yourself, improve your inner values and talents. Stop trying to always control people, especially those you live with.

Also born on this day: Jane Goodall (wildlife researcher) Marlon Brando (actor) Eddie Murphy (comedian, actor) Doris Day (singer, actress) Henry R. Luce (Time, Life publisher) Alec Baldwin (actor) George Herbert (British poet) Scott La Farro (jazz musician) Leslie Howard (British actor) Marsha Mason (actress) Helmut Kohl (German chancellor) George Jessel (comedian) John Burroughs (naturalist writer)