Monday, November 14, 2016

Congratulations to Leonard Barden of The Guardian

As we wait for game 3 of the World Chess Championship to begin, let's pause briefly to celebrate a pretty wonderful achievement: New record for Leonard Barden, grandmaster of newspaper chess columns

The Guardian’s columnist has written weekly for the newspaper for 61 years as well as running a daily column at the London Evening Standard for 60 years

As Fred Friedel of the ChessBase website observes in: Leonard Barden still going strong – at 87

Leonard Barden's weekly Guardian chess column began in September 1955 and has continued since with no breaks for sixty-one years. It has broken the previous record for any columnist, held by English local columnist Tom Widdows, who wrote weekly in the Worcester News from October 1945 until April 2006, 60 years and 6 months. Leonard's other (daily!) column, in the Evening Standard, began in June 1956 and has continued every day since.

Mr. Barden has been writing a daily column since before I was born! (And I'm beginning to achieve a pretty ripe old age myself.)

The only other comparable person who comes readily to mind was the fantastic film critic Stanley Kauffman, who worked for 55 years, right up until his death at age 97.

Congratulations, Mr. Barden, and may you keep it up as long as possible.

UPDATE: How could I possibly have forgotten about 95-year-old Mad cartoonist Al Jaffee

Mad Magazine’s Al Jaffee is the oldest working cartoonist, and he has the certificate from Guinness World Records to prove it. The satirist has worked with everyone from Stan Lee to EC Comics founder William Gaines over his career’s 73-year span, though he will probably go down in comics history as the inventor of the “fold-in”, a transformable painting that originally mocked lavish centerfolds in magazines like National Geographic and Playboy and later became Jaffee’s calling card.

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