Gerry Mulaney '80

From a Q&A with Gerry Mullany '80, Editor with The New York Times:

How did you begin your career?What inspired you to pursue journalism? 
I was a real history nut, studying under Tom Post and Farnham Collins, and naturally was fascinated by current events. Around midway through high school I started reading The Times and became hooked (Nicky Roosevelt used to bust my chops for it.) 

At Millbrook you really learned to write—you were forced to crank out a couple of papers a week and received intensive feedback from your teachers (in my case Mr. Palmer, Mr. Bryson, and Mr. Doelger). Mr. Collins was the first teacher who told me I had some skills on that front, and it really resonated.

By the time I got to college, I knew I wanted to work for The Times, but I never thought they would hire me. They finally did when, after seven years in journalism, I knocked on their door a second time, and they let me in for an editing tryout. I’ve been there 26 years now, and every day is something different.

What has been your area of interestand focus of work?
I’ve run daily coverage of the last three presidential campaigns and attended at least seven national conventions—so many I’ve actually lost count. It’s incredibly stressful work that involves long hours and weekends because of the constant stream of debates, primaries, and unexpected news developments. But you’re also dealing with some of the best journalists in the business, which is a huge inspiration.

Because of the nature of our work, we get slammed a lot, and sometimes deservedly. But our 2016 team was very plugged in, particularly with the Trump campaign, where infighting led to regular leaks (something that has carried over to the White House). We also have fierce competitors, particularly the Washington Post, and they give us a good run for our money.