Tycoon expresses regret
for News Corporation's involvement
but insists he was kept in dark
Patrick Wintour, political editor
This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 23.54 BST
on Tuesday 19 July
A version appeared on p1 of the Main section section
of the Guardian
Wednesday 20 July 2011.
It was last modified at 02.02 BST on Wednesday 20 July
Murdoch defiantly insisted on Tuesday he was not responsible for what he called
"sickening and horrible invasions" of privacy committed by his company, claiming
he had been betrayed by disgraceful unidentified colleagues and had known
nothing of the cover-up of phone hacking.
During a three-hour grilling at the culture select committee, disrupted by a
protester throwing a plate of shaving foam, the once all-powerful News Corp
chairman and chief executive told MPs: "I am not responsible."
In a halting performance, at times pausing, mumbling and mishearing, Murdoch
said those culpable were "the people I hired and trusted, and perhaps then
people who they hired and trusted". But he denied the accusation he had been
"willfully blind" about the scandal.
Flanked by his son James, the chairman of News International, Murdoch said he
and his company had been betrayed in a disgraceful way, but argued he was still
the best person to clean up the company, adding in a rehearsed soundbite that
his day in front of the committee represented "the most humble day of my life".
In a Westminster hearing screened worldwide, he repeatedly tried to avoid
identifying the specific culprits in his company, often blaming earlier legal
counsel for inadequate advice or leaving his son to explain his behaviour.
But in separate testimony to the home affairs select committee, Lord Macdonald,
the former head of the CPS, now on contract with News International, revealed it
had taken him three to five minutes to examine documents kept by the company's
solicitors showing widespread criminality at the company.
Macdonald said in his view the criminality revealed was "completely
unequivocal", adding when he reported his findings to the News International
board recently there was surprise and shock. He said: "I cannot imagine anyone
looking at the file would not say there was criminality," including payments to
The file was kept at the solicitors Harbottle & Lewis, and the police
investigation is now centring on which executives tried to conceal its contents.
In May 2007 Harbottle & Lewis sent a two-paragraph letter to News International
executives claiming their examination of the documents showed there was no
evidence any senior executives knew of illegal activities by the reporter Clive
Goodman, or of any other illegal activities.
The physical assault on Murdoch came near the end of the evidence session,
prompting gasps as his wife, Wendi Deng, leaped up to hit the assailant,
Jonathan May-Bowles, a participant in UK Uncut events.
May-Bowles was detained by police as James Murdoch angrily asked officers why
they had not protected his father. The Commons Speaker, John Bercow, called for
The culture and home affairs select committees between them took more than eight
hours of evidence about the phone-hacking scandal. Under cover of the drama of
the hearings, the Conservatives revealed that Neil Wallis, a former News of the
World deputy editor, had given "informal unpaid advice" to Andy Coulson when he
was director of communications at the Conservative party.
In a statement the party said: "It has been drawn to our attention that he may
have provided Andy Coulson with some informal advice on a voluntary basis before
the election. We are currently finding out the exact nature of any advice."
Wallis was arrested last week on suspicion of phone hacking, and the furore
surrounding his hiring by the Metropolitan police between October 2008 and
September 2009 has led to the resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson, the
Metropolitan police commissioner, and the Met's assistant commissioner John
Yates, who both gave evidence on Tuesday.
Separately emails were released by Downing Street showing David Cameron's chief
of staff, Ed Llewellyn, had on 20 September 2010 turned down the opportunity of
a briefing by the Metropolitan police on the phone hacking. Labour claimed it
showed an extraordinary dereliction of his duty to find out the scale of
wrong-doing and the potential involvement of Coulson, the former No 10 director
Cameron will be pressed on the issue when he makes a statement to MPs on how he
is handling the crisis. He has been summoned to a 1922 backbench committee
meeting to justify his response, including his decision to hire Coulson.
The publication report from the all-party home affairs committee, which has been
brought forward in time for Cameron's statement today, has found that News
International "deliberately" tried to block a Scotland Yard criminal
investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World. The report finds the
company "deliberately" tried to "thwart" the 2005-6 Metropolitan police
investigation into phone hacking carried out by the tabloid.
Much of the cross-examination of the Murdochs was largely designed to locate how
high the apparent cover-up of systematic law-breaking went. James Murdoch was
forced to admit, after much wriggling, that his company was still paying the
legal costs of Glenn Mulcaire, one of the private detectives on the payroll of
News of the World found guilty of hacking phones. James Murdoch said he was
shocked and surprised to learn the payments were continuing, and denied it had
been done to buy silence.
Pressed by the Labour MP Paul Farrelly, Rupert Murdoch said he would stop the
payments if he was contractually free to do so. James Murdoch denied the large
out-of-court settlements to the PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor (£700,000),
and publicist Max Clifford (£1m including legal costs), authorised by him in
2008, had not been pitched so high to buy their silence. He insisted the
settlement level was based on legal advice, or in the case of Clifford due to
the ending of a wider contract.
James Murdoch also revealed he had authorised the settlements but had not told
his father until 2009 after the case became public, saying the payments were too
small to be reported to a higher board. He refused a request from MP Tom Watson
to release Taylor from his confidentiality agreement.
Both James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of NI who gave
evidence later to the committee, said they had acted as soon as evidence emerged
in civil cases at the end of 2010 that phone hacking had not been confined to
Mulcaire and Goodman.
James Murdoch apologised for the scandal and told MPs: "These actions do not
live up to the standards our company aspires to." The three came under pressure
over a letter in May 2007 prepared by Harbottle & Lewis on the instruction of
Jon Chapman, the former director of legal affairs, and Daniel Cloak, the head of
human resources, suggesting phone hacking had not been widespread. The files on
which the Harbottle & Lewis letter is based were re-examined in April by senior
News International executives including Will Lewis and Lord Macdonald.
In tense opening exchanges Murdoch revealed he had mounted no investigation when
Brooks told parliament seven years ago that the News of the World had paid
police officers for information. He said: "I didn't know of it." He also
admitted he had never heard of the fact that his senior reporter at the News of
the World, Neville Thurlbeck, had been found by a judge to be guilty of
Watson interrupted to prevent Rupert Murdoch's son answering the questions,
saying: "Your father is responsible for corporate governance, and serious
wrongdoing has been brought about in the company. It is revealing in itself what
he does not know and what executives chose not to tell him." Rupert Murdoch
denied he was ignorant about his company, banging the table and saying News of
the World was "less than 1%" of News Corp. He was asked about his connections to
the Conservative party and revealed it had been on the advice of the prime
minister's staff that he had gone through the back door to have a cup of tea
with David Cameron after the election to receive Cameron's personal thanks for
supporting his party in the election.
"I was asked if I would please come through the back door," Murdoch told the
Rupert Murdoch denied that the closure of the News of the World was motivated by
financial considerations, saying he shut the Sunday tabloid because of the
criminal allegations. In one flash of anger he complained his competitors had
"caught us with dirty hands and created hysteria".
Aware he must prevent the scandal spreading across the Atlantic, he said he had
seen no evidence that victims of the 9/11 attacks and their relatives were
targeted by any of his papers.
Tue Jul 19, 2011
By Mark Hosenball and Kate Holton
(Reuters) - To illustrate the extent to which Rupert Murdoch used to
micro-manage his newspapers, a one-time Murdoch editor told an anecdote about a
typical board meeting at the mogul's UK newspaper arm in the 1980s.
News International directors, including some of the most powerful newspaper
editors in Britain, would solemnly assemble in a board room within Murdoch's
fortress-like publishing compound at Wapping, not far from the Tower of London.
Once assembled, Kelvin MacKenzie, the editor who ran Murdoch's raucous daily
tabloid the Sun between 1981 and 1994 and made it the most influential newspaper
for much of the Thatcher era, would ask: "Right. Who's going to ring Rupert,
The anecdote was delivered with a smile. But senior journalists and corporate
officials who have worked at the highest levels of the Murdoch organization in
Britain say it encapsulates a deep truth about the way the Murdoch newspaper
empire has traditionally been run.
Former senior Murdoch employees in Britain, Australia and the United States say
Murdoch is a hands-on media proprietor, as ready with an opinion on a story as
he is to dispose of any editor who regularly takes a different stance from his
Reports of Murdoch pressuring editors until their newspapers reflected his own
political leanings are common -- if more frequent at his tabloids than at his
quality publications. Sometimes, Murdoch does not even have to pick up the
"When I was last at News I was astonished how some editors would almost factor
in Rupert even though he was 12,000 miles away," Bruce Guthrie, a former editor
at Murdoch's Herald Sun in Melbourne, told Reuters.
"You could almost see them thinking, 'what will Rupert think of this?'"
News International told Reuters it does not comment on Murdoch's level of
involvement in his newspapers. Dow Jones & Company, which owns the Wall Street
Journal, declined to comment. Parent company News Corporation would not comment.
Reuters is a competitor of the Journal and of Dow Jones Newswires, the financial
news agency that News Corp acquired along with the Wall Street Journal in 2007.
ANTICIPATING THE BOSS
To get an idea of how deeply Murdoch sometimes sought to steer what his
newspapers were saying, former Wapping insiders point to his relationship with
one of the more respected of his British media properties, the Sunday Times.
Toward the end of a typical week, says a former senior News International
figure, the owner would routinely ring the paper's editor -- from the mid-1980s
a voluble Scotsman named Andrew Neil but more recently John Witherow, a genial,
low-profile South African -- and grill them about the stories being worked on.
One person who was present at one of these sessions said Murdoch would ask his
editor to run through the list of stories reporters were chasing. He would then
critique them one by one.
Eventually Murdoch would hear a story he liked and make his interest apparent.
That story would then become a main candidate for the front page.
Roy Greenslade, a media commentator for the Guardian who worked as a senior
editor at both Murdoch's Sun tabloid and the quality Sunday Times, said that
from what he saw and heard, Murdoch's personal editorial involvement was much
deeper with his British tabloids than with his two up-market papers, The Times
and the Sunday Times. Current and former employees of the Wall Street Journal
say that's the case at that paper as well.
In his earlier days as a UK media mogul, Murdoch was known for literally
dictating what tabloid editors would put in their papers, Greenslade told
But Greenslade and other News Corp editors also said that as Murdoch's empire
expanded, the Australian-born mogul had less time to micro-manage operations at
At the same time he was still able to exert editorial influence by selecting
editors who would anticipate his editorial views and whims.
"As an editor you were never in any doubt about what pleased him," Greenslade
In 2007, Murdoch himself told a House of Lords committee looking at media
ownership and the news that he was a "traditional proprietor" at the Sun and
News of the World, according to the committee's minutes of a meeting with the
media boss. "He exercises editorial control on major issues -- like which Party
to back in a general election or policy on Europe," the committee noted.
Rebekah Brooks, editor of the News of the World when some of the phone hacking
occurred and head of News International until last week, told the same committee
that she was "very lucky to have a traditional proprietor like Mr Murdoch,
coupled with always having Les Hinton (then head of News International) there as
well, who, as you know, was a journalist. Yes, I do seek advice from them and,
yes, it is a consensus issue."
Murdoch's influence, former News Corp staff say, was not restricted to Britain
and explains why so many of his titles around the world took the same editorial
stance on major issues, such as the Iraq war.
Guthrie told Reuters that Murdoch regularly hosted editorial conferences at
which he would make his feelings known.
"You leave the conference kind of inculcated with a culture," said Guthrie, who
won damages from the company in 2008 for unfair dismissal.
"That's the way it's done, it's almost by stealth, but you leave those
conferences with an almost collective view -- certainly with the knowledge of
what the boss wants."
Another former News Limited journalist in Australia, who asked not to be named,
agreed that Murdoch liked to employ people who could anticipate his next step.
"They know how to think," the former journalist said. "People are put in these
jobs because they understand News Corp and how Rupert thinks so they don't have
to be micro-managed."
Neil, the editor of Britain's Sunday Times for 11 years, told a House of Lords
committee looking into media ownership in 2008 that he was never in any doubt
what Murdoch wanted, even though he could not recall a direct instruction
telling him to take a particular line.
"On every major issue of the time and every major political personality or
business personality, I knew what he thought and you knew, as an editor, that
you did not have a freehold, you had a leasehold ... and that leasehold depended
on accommodating his views," he said.
"Rupert Murdoch is obsessed with what his newspapers say. He picks the editors
that will take the kind of view of these things that he has and these editors
know what is expected of them when the big issues come and they fall into line."
In the 1980s, the Sun's MacKenzie would hear from Murdoch on a daily basis --
not quite to discuss exact headlines, but to make sure the newspaper would
report the major issues as the press baron saw fit.
Greenslade, recalling the relationship between Murdoch and MacKenzie, told the
same House of Lords committee that the editor would regularly come off the phone
"rubbing his backside as if he had been given a good kicking on the phone".
Three former News of the World reporters who spoke to Reuters also remember a
"Rupert comes across as quite unassuming," said one. "'The quiet assassin,' we
used to call him. He used to turn up unannounced -- you wouldn't know he was
there. No jacket, sleeves rolled up, at the back bench, quite hands-on."
Another said: "If the Murdochs were in town, there'd be massive pressure to get
some sensational story that weekend."
A third, a correspondent for the News of the World in New York for a period,
agreed that Murdoch liked to get involved. But based on practices in his U.S.
newspapers, this person said, "I think the whole thing (alleged phone hacking
and police bribery) will have horrified Murdoch."
The pressure from the boss was -- and is -- less intense at Murdoch's quality
papers. Neil told the committee that during his time as editor at the Sunday
Times he would hear from Murdoch perhaps once or twice a week and receive
regular cuttings from Wall Street Journal editorials, sent to show Murdoch's
take on an issue.
"Part of the process of him letting you know his mind, in addition to calls and
conversations, is to clip out editorials from, above all, the Wall Street
Journal," he said. "He loved the Wall Street Journal, and he will love it even
more now that he owns it."
According to current and former employees of Dow Jones, Murdoch chats on a daily
basis with the editor of the Journal, Robert Thomson, both by phone and by
wandering down to the Journal newsroom at News Corp headquarters on Sixth
Avenue. Murdoch enjoys occasionally bantering and gossiping with other editors
and reporters whom he has come to know in the Journal newsroom, these people
A News Corp insider agreed Murdoch occasionally trades gossip with editors and
reporters, but said it never went further than that.
But the experience at the New York Post, at least on one occasion, was
different, according to a former employee at the paper.
"You kind of knew what he wanted and what he didn't want. You knew what kind of
stories to do and what not to do. But the only time I really saw him hands-on in
the newsroom for any sustained period was the seven week Gore-Bush (electoral)
recount. He was there and he wanted to make sure we were on it the way he wanted
us to be on it.
"There is no doubt obviously who they wanted to win the election."
A former veteran New York Post reporter described Murdoch as having had "his
hands all over the Post. I used to see him in the newsroom something like twice
a week sometimes when he was in New York, especially if something big was
happening in politics or business."
While Murdoch "used to give us tips about people he wanted us to go after
especially in business and politics," this reporter said the Post did not use
things like private investigators or phone tapping.
"When he bought the Journal we started to see him a lot less," the former
reporter said. "It seemed the Post had lost its luster and he had this new
plaything. Some people started wondering if the Post was long for this world."
In an editorial on July 18, the Wall Street Journal argued that readers should
"see through the commercial and ideological motives of our competitor-critics.
The Schadenfreude is so thick you can't cut it with a chainsaw. Especially
redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications" -- a
reference to the Guardian which has led much of the coverage on the hacking
story -- "that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. They
want their readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses
of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp journalists
across the world."
That may be true. There is no suggestion that hacking took place at the Wall
Street Journal or Murdoch's Times and the papers continue to provide serious,
in-depth coverage of politics and business.
But critics, including some former Murdoch editors, argue there's no getting
around the fact that Murdoch's personality and the pressure he creates have
helped create a culture where reporters felt it was acceptable to hack into
phone messages to get scoops.
"The culture that exists at his newspapers is a culture he has developed,"
Guthrie said. "It's in some ways an amoral culture. Essentially Rupert is this
hard-driving proprietor who pushes all his editors for more sales, bigger
stories, he wants bigger splashes and he puts his editors under enormous
pressure to deliver on that.
"He is not necessarily a bloke who wants to discuss ethics in journalism."
reporting by Georgina Prodhan in London, Michael Perry
Here are the main events in the phone-hacking scandal leading to News Corp's
Chairman Rupert Murdoch withdrawing his bid for British broadcaster BSkyB and
closing the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid.
2000 - Rebekah Wade is appointed editor of Britain's best-selling Sunday
tabloid, News of the World. Aged 32 and the youngest national newspaper editor
in the country, she begins a campaign to name and shame suspected pedophiles,
leading to some alleged offenders being terrorized by angry mobs. She also
campaigns for public access to the Sex Offenders' Register, which eventually
comes into law as "Sarah's Law."
2003 - Wade becomes editor of tabloid the Sun, sister paper to the News of the
World and Britain's biggest selling daily. Andy Coulson, her deputy editor since
2000, becomes editor of the Sunday paper. Wade tells a parliamentary committee
her paper paid police for information. News International later says this is not
November 2005 - The News of the World publishes a story on a knee injury
suffered by Prince William. Royal court officials complain about voicemail
messages being intercepted. The complaints spark a police inquiry.
January 2007 - News of the World royal affairs editor Clive Goodman and private
investigator Glenn Mulcaire admit conspiring to intercept communications,
Mulcaire also pleads guilty to five other charges of intercepting voicemail
messages. Goodman is jailed for four months, Mulcaire for six months.
-- News of the World editor Coulson resigns, saying he took "ultimate
responsibility" but knew nothing of the offences in advance.
May 2007 - Coulson becomes Conservative Party director of communications under
party leader David Cameron.
June 2009 - Rebekah Wade becomes CEO of News International, grouping Murdoch's
newspapers in Britain. She marries for a second time, becoming Rebekah Brooks.
July 2009 - The Guardian newspaper says News of the World reporters, with the
knowledge of senior staff, illegally accessed messages from the mobile phones of
celebrities and politicians while Coulson was editor from 2003 to 2007.
September 2009 - Les Hinton, chief executive of Dow Jones and former executive
chairman of News International, tells a committee of legislators any problem
with phone hacking was limited to the one case. He says they carried out a wide
review and found no new evidence.
February 2010 - The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sports Committee says in
a report that it is "inconceivable" managers did not know about the practice,
and says it was more widespread than the paper had admitted.
September 2010 - Legislators ask parliament's standards watchdog to begin a new
investigation into the hacking allegations at News of the World and its former
January 2011 - British police open a new investigation into allegations of phone
hacking at the tabloid. Police had said in July 2009 there was no need for a
probe into the allegations.
-- The News of the World announces it has sacked senior editor Ian Edmondson
after an internal inquiry.
-- Coulson resigns as Cameron's communications chief.
April 2011 - News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck and Edmondson
are arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept mobile phone messages. They
are released on bail. The News of the World admits it had a role in phone
July 4 - A lawyer for the family of schoolgirl Milly Dowler, murdered in 2002,
says he learned from police that her voicemail messages had been hacked,
possibly by a News of the World investigator, while police were searching for
her. Some messages may also have been deleted to make room for more, misleading
her family into thinking she was still alive. Police later say they have also
contacted the parents of two 10-year-old girls killed in the town of Soham in
July 5 - News International says new information has been given to police. The
BBC says it related to e-mails appearing to show payments were made to police
for information and were authorized by Coulson.
-- The list of those possibly targeted includes victims of the London suicide
bombings of July 7, 2005, and the parents of Madeleine McCann, who disappeared
in Portugal in 2007.
July 6 - PM Cameron says he is "revolted" by the allegations.
-- Murdoch appoints News Corp executive Joel Klein to oversee an investigation
into the hacking allegations.
-- UK's Daily Telegraph says News of the World hacked the phones of families of
soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
July 7 - News Corp announces it will close down the News of the World. The July
10 edition was the last.
July 8 - Cameron announces two inquiries, one to be led by a judge on the
hacking scandal, another to look at new regulations for the British press.
Cameron says he takes full responsibility for employing Coulson as his
spokesman, defending his decision to give him a "second chance."
-- Coulson is arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications
and suspicion of corruption. He is bailed until October.
-- The News of the World's former royal editor, Goodman, is re-arrested in
connection with a police operation looking at alleged payments to police by
journalists at the paper.
-- Police search the offices of the Daily Star tabloid where Goodman freelanced.
The Star is not connected to News Corp.
July 10 - Rupert Murdoch arrives in London.
July 11 - Murdoch withdraws News Corp's offer to spin off BSkyB's Sky News
channel, previously made to help win approval of its bid for the 61 percent of
BSkyB it does not own. This opens the way for the government to refer the BSkyB
bid to the competition commission which will carry out a long investigation
-- Allegations surface that journalists at News Corp papers targeted former PM
Gordon Brown. Police confirm to Brown that his name was on a list of targets
compiled by Mulcaire.
July 12 - John Yates, assistant commissioner at London's Metropolitan Police,
criticized for deciding in 2009 not to reopen the earlier inquiry, tells the
Home Affairs Committee he probably did only the minimum work required before
taking his decision.
-- In the United States, John Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate's commerce
committee, calls for an investigation to determine if News Corp has broken any
July 13 - News Corp withdraws its bid for BSkyB. This pre-empts a planned vote
in parliament, that had all-party support, on a motion for the bid to be
dropped. The company statement leaves the door open to a new offer at some
-- Tom Crone, legal manager at News International, leaves the company, a source
familiar with the situation says.
-- Cameron gives details of a formal public inquiry into the affair, to be
chaired by senior judge Brian Leveson.
-- News Corp's Australian arm launches investigation to see if any wrongdoing
took place at its editorial operations.
July 14 - Rupert Murdoch eventually accepts request by parliament to answer
questions on July 19 over the alleged crimes at the News of the World. His son
James Murdoch also says he will appear. Rebekah Brooks agrees to appear, but
says the police inquiry may restrict what she can say.
-- The FBI says it will investigate allegations News Corp hacked into phone
records of victims of September 11 attacks.
-- Rupert Murdoch tells the Wall Street Journal, part of his empire, that News
Corp handled the crisis "extremely well in every way possible," making only
"minor mistakes." Says his son James acted "as fast as he could, the moment he
July 15 - Brooks resigns as chief executive of News International. Tom
Mockridge, CEO of the company's Italian pay TV arm Sky Italia, will replace her.
-- Les Hinton resigns as chief executive of Murdoch's Dow Jones & Co., which
publishes the Wall Street Journal.
July 16/17 - A direct apology from Rupert Murdoch is carried in all UK national
newspapers under the headline "We are sorry."
July 17 - Detectives arrest Brooks on suspicion of intercepting communications
and corruption. She is released on bail at midnight after about 12 hours in
-- Paul Stephenson, London's police commissioner, resigns after coming under
fire over the appointment of Neil Wallis as public relations adviser to the
force. Wallis, a former News of the World deputy editor, was arrested on July
July 18 - Cameron, on a shortened visit to Africa, defends his handling of the
hacking scandal and says parliament will delay its summer recess to let him
address lawmakers on July 20.
-- Yates resigns over his role in phone hacking probe.
July 19 - Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks will appear before
parliament's Culture, Media and Sports committee.
December 31, 2010
The New York Times
By MARGALIT FOX
Paul Calle, a commercial artist whose most famous work was no bigger than a
postage stamp, died on Thursday in Stamford, Conn. Mr. Calle, one of the most
highly regarded stamp designers in the nation, was 82.
The cause was melanoma, said his son Chris, who is also a stamp designer.
A longtime Stamford resident, Mr. Calle (pronounced KAL-ee) designed more than
40 United States stamps, licked by generations of postwar Americans. He was best
known for the 10-cent stamp, commissioned by NASA and issued in 1969,
commemorating the Apollo 11 moon landing that year.
His other stamps include ones honoring Gen. Douglas MacArthur (1971), Robert
Frost (1974), the International Year of the Child (1979), Helen Keller and Anne
Sullivan (1980), Frederic Remington (1981), Pearl S. Buck (1983), the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial (1984) and folk-art carousel horses (1988 and again, with new
artwork, in 1995).
Mr. Calle’s work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in
Washington, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and
With Chris, he designed two 1994 stamps — a 29-cent first-class stamp and a
$9.95 express-mail stamp — commemorating the moon landing’s 25th anniversary.
Father and son also collaborated on stamps for Sweden, the Marshall Islands,
Micronesia and the United Nations.
Paul Calle was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan on March 3, 1928. He
earned a bachelor’s degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and during the
Korean War was an illustrator for the Army.
Early in his career, Mr. Calle did cover artwork for science-fiction pulp
magazines like Galaxy, Fantasy Fiction and Super Science Stories, as well as for
general-interest publications like The Saturday Evening Post.
In 1962, he was among the inaugural group of artists chosen for the NASA Art
Program, a documentary record of the space program that has produced thousands
of works to date. Mr. Calle’s early art for the program includes a pair of
5-cent stamps, issued in 1967, depicting the Gemini capsule and the astronaut Ed
White making the first American spacewalk in 1965.
On July 16, 1969, the day Apollo 11 was launched, Mr. Calle was the only artist
allowed to observe the astronauts, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz
Aldrin, as they readied themselves for the mission — eating breakfast, donning
their spacesuits and the like. He captured their preparations in a series of
intimate pen-and-ink sketches later exhibited at the National Air and Space
That morning, when the astronauts lifted off, one of the things they carried was
the engraved printing plate of Mr. Calle’s commemorative stamp. As the moon
lacked a post office, a proof made from the plate was hand-canceled by the men
aboard the spacecraft.
Mr. Calle’s wife, the former Olga Wyhowanec, whom he married in 1951, died in
2003. Besides his son Chris, he is survived by another son, Paul P., a
veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo; a daughter, Claudia Calle Beal; and six
Interviewed after the moon landing, Mr. Calle divulged the secret of his
rigorous craft: “When you do a stamp,” he said, “think big, but draw small.”
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the face is sprayed fragrantly through the knot.
These wondrous items are in every sense a gift at £159.95 a pair, plus £3.99
delivery. Should you prefer to call personally at the back door of No 1
Pennington Street, London, E98 ITA (please press the bell marked Rupert), you
will also receive an elegant calculator-scarf with advocaat-scented bathcube
woggle, absolutely free!!!
AS YOU know, the Times Legal Department is always happy to deal with readers’
queries, but since it is currently involved in wording the small print on our
Digital Aftershave Necktie Phoneslippers guarantee, I have been asked to help
out with this urgent plea:
Dear Lawyers, About to cook my Christmas pies, I opened a jar of mincemeat
purchased at a local shop and found a mouse inside it. What should I do?
It is interesting that you do not say “I opened a jar of mincemeat and found
to my horror a mouse inside it.” That is the form we in the legal department
strongly recommend. If it was not to your horror, what was it to? If, for
example, it was to your delight, then I am ethically bound to advise you that
there is little we can do to screw the shop for every penny.
Indeed, it could well be in your interest to write a thank-you note to the shop
enclosing a cheque to protect yourself against any claim on the shop’s part for
its mouse back.
If, though, it was to your surprise, then there may well be a bob or two in it,
depending on the extent of your surprise; far be it from me to put ideas into
your head, but if the surprise was such that you fell back against a priceless
Ming vase, which, as it shattered, caused your prize chihuahua to suffer a fatal
heart attack, and, as the result, your husband to run off with the big woman up
the road, compensation could be satisfyingly considerable. If, however, you
merely cried: “Stone me, a mouse!” I see no material advantage in your going to
Nor do you say whether the mouse was dead. If it left the shop alive and popped
its clogs while in your charge, you could well find yourself facing an action
for cruelty and prohibited for life from keeping another mouse.
Were this the case, we would not touch you with what we in the legal profession
call a bargepole. Why not write us another letter along the lines of: “I
recently opened a jar of mincemeat purchased at a local shop and to my
inexpressible horror found a dead mouse inside it, since when I have had no
sleep, suffered fainting fits, lost all sexual interest, and had my Christmas
totally buggered up. May I beg you to take these ratbags to the cleaners, no
expense spared, not just for me, but for suffering humanity everywhere?”