Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Dad

My father was named Roy Berkowitz. He changed his name in the 1950s because he thought it would be difficult to become a writer with a name like that. He became Roy Berke, and rose to be the Managing Director of UPI-TN (also known as United Press International Television News). He died in 1987 of leukemia two weeks after diagnosis, just as I got into law school.

He was a good friend of Reese Schoenfeld's, also in the news business. He grew up in Brooklyn, in Crown Heights on Montgomery Street. He met most of his friends when he was in kindergarten and they stayed friends throughout his life.

During World War II he was a first lieutenant in the Air Force, a pilot (not a bombardier like Yossarian in Catch-22). He was too young (17) when he enlisted so he lied about his age. He also didn't have the requisite eye sight but he managed to get through the eye exam. He saw a lot of action in the Pacific theater. I still have his letters and papers. I wrote his eulogy.

He passed away much too young. I wish my dad could have been around as a sounding board and a loving father.

I miss him.

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