“I was very curious as a grade school kid and that curiosity never abated,” explains renowned writer Gay Talese. This curiosity has been both a driving force and a constant throughout Gay’s more than 60-year writing career; a career in which his observations and discoveries have been widely read and published.
Gay’s first forays into writing were for his hometown of Ocean City, New Jersey’s local paper in high school. After graduating from the University of Alabama, where he had written for the school’s paper, he was hired as a copyboy at the New York Times in 1953. For Gay, this job laid the groundwork for a career in which he was a reporter for the Times, wrote for magazines such as Esquire (where his most famous pieces on Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio were published) and The New Yorker, and published books on a wide variety of topics including the construction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. 6sqft recently spoke with Gay about his career and the changing landscape of journalism.