Respondent
Levine, Mike
Interview Date
1991
Abstract
Mike Levine, a news reporter who became a radio personality; born, 1923.
[T1S1] Children's names, ages, occupations and families are reported. Respondent indicates relation to Rabbi Sivitz and explains parents' reason for ceasing to keep kosher. Location of Respondent's Hebrew education is noted; Respondent's dislike of cheder is expressed. Respondent relates anti-Semitism experienced as youth in Dormont. Respondent specifies the location of first married residence and explains satisfaction with Reform liturgy. First locations of Temple Emmanuel's services are indicated. Respondent describes environment of grandmother's home in Oakland. Respondent's education is reported; Respondent's discontent with military service in WWII is explained.
[T1S2] Respondent recounts duties as Air Corps radio operator in Europe during WWII. Respondent's choice of course of study, Journalism, at the University of Pittsburgh is explained. Respondent mentions wound sustained in WWII and notes the composition of Pitt's post-war swimming team. Respondent's arrival in New York City harbor on a troop ship returning from Europe is recounted. Origins of, Respondent's responsibilities at, and owners of the Monessen <i>Morning News</i> are specified. Respondent's duties and hours as news editor for radio station WMCK are detailed. Respondent recounts income gained, stories reported and job obtained from telephoning new tips to the Pittsburgh <i>Sun-Telegraph</i>. Respondent's work during training period at the <i>Sun-Telegraph</i> is indicated.
[T2S3] Respondent briefly characterizes co-workers at the <i>Sun-Telegraph</i> and recounts KDKA's offer of employment. Respondent's spouse is named. Respondent's use of the morgue for obtaining story leads explained. Respondent indicates nature and scope of the news reporting at the <i>Sun-Telegraph</i>. Respondent's lengthy friendship with Sophie Masloff is indicated. Respondent discusses the treatment of the homeless during the 1950s. Respondent indicates locations of family's and extent of children's religious observance. Stories that Respondent reported in New York City for Westinghouse Broadcast Corporation are noted. Respondent's ill-timed, disappointing interview with CBS is related. Respondent recounts covering race riot in Harlem and aggravating New York City mayor John Lindsey. Respondent's reluctant decision to return to Pittsburgh is explained. Respondent relates his enjoyment of, preparation for and approach toward his talk show on KDKA. Respondent characterizes the general manager and radio and television personalities with whom he worked at KDKA.
[T2S4] No abstract for this side.
[T3S5] Respondent enumerates children's educations and indicates relationship with grandchildren. Social impediments of being Jewish in a gentile school district are expressed. Father's work in sales of automobile parts is outlined. Respondent indicates present residence and extensively enumerates pastimes and friendships in retirement. Respondent notes potential influence upon son's choice of profession; Respondent's attitude toward news reporting is expressed. Respondent's working relationship with John Kane and the circumstances of a telephone call from Harry Truman are indicated.
[T3S6] Respondent notes changes in presidential accessibility; Respondent mentions moments during J. F. Kennedy's campaign in West Virginia. Respondent discusses the career and personality of Jock Yablonski. Yablonski's interest in UMW policies and Respondent's reaction to Yablonski's murder are reported. Union leaders Respondent met and strike incidents Respondent reported are enumerated. Respondent assesses the gubernatorial career and personal warmth of Nelson Rockefeller. Respondent's familiarity with Mercury astronauts is illustrated; Respondent summarizes work reporting NASA launches. Lack of anti-Semitic experiences in radio or television is reported. Respondent appraises professionalism of Bill Burns. Respondent discusses entertainment at Casino Burlesque and Nixon Theaters.
[T4S7] Performers Respondent watched at Nixon Theater are enumerated. Respondent notes use of luck charms by early astronauts. Respondent recounts obtaining interview with Nikita Khrushchev in 1959. Respondent extensively recounts broadcast of police chase and shoot-out with robbers. Parody of Respondent by Rege Cordic is related. Respondent expresses animosity engendered by Respondent's views on Kent State riot. Respondent reports observed changes in Jewish community businesses and life. Respondent mentions parents' and own religious affiliation. Respondent notes first demonstration by NAACP in Pittsburgh. Respondent explains dislike of Jesse Jackson. Respondent assesses state of civil rights movement and indicates Respondent's talk show policy regarding hate groups.
[T4S8] Changes in the emphasis and quality of broadcast journalism since Respondent began working are extensively discussed. Respondent expresses attitudes toward the methods of contemporary news reporting and gathering. Respondent summarizes his career as a news reporter and enumerates honors. Improvements due to Respondent's investigations of mental institutions are mentioned. Resuscitation and demise of the Pittsburgh<i> Press</i> Club are outlined. Respondent's work in Florida is reported; I.B. Singer's mannerisms are related.
Subjects
Burns, Bill, 1913-1997; Cordic, Rege; Jackson, Jesse, 1941-; Journalists; Journalism; Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971; Singer, Isaac Bashevis, 1904-1991; Television; Radio
Length (hours)
4
Interviewer1
Dinman, Gabrielle
Interviewer2
Harrison, Mary
Collateral Materials
Box 103 FF 24
Identifier
ais196440.268
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh