Saul Friedman contributes two columns to Time Goes By. Each Saturday in Gray Matters (formerly in Newsday), he reports on and delves into just about every issue related to elders and helps navigate the intricacies of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Long Term Care.
His twice-monthly Reflections column is more personal, covering news, politics and social issues of the day from the perspective of a younger member of the greatest generation.
Friedman was born on Herbert Hoover's inauguration day, March 4, 1929, which accounts for his leftward politics. And after a boyhood in his native Brooklyn, he traveled the world as a reporter, first in Houston, Texas, for the Houston Chronicle, then in Detroit, for the Free Press, and in Washington for Knight-Ridder and finally Newsday.
During his reporting days, Friedman covered the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Montgomery bus boycott to Selma and Memphis. In 1963, Friedman won a Nieman Fellowship for a year's study at Harvard. He shared a Pulitzer Price for the Free Press coverage of the 1967 riots in Detroit.
With Knight-Ridder, Friedman covered the birth of the consumer movement with Ralph Nader, the anti-war movement, the impeachment of Richard Nixon, which earned him a Pulitzer nomination. He also covered a couple of wars in India and Israel, the presidencies of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and eight years of Ronald Reagan.
After a year-long sabbatical to teach national and foreign affairs reporting at the Columbia School of Journalism, Friedman joined Newsday. When George H.W. Bush, who he had known in Houston, became president, Friedman shifted to foreign affairs covering then-Secretary of State James Baker. He was witness to some of the momentous events in recent history including the fall of the Berlin Wall and Soviet communism, the first Gulf War and the Middle East conference in Madrid that led to the tentative peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and Jordan.
In 1996, Friedman left daily journalism to spend five months in South Africa teaching journalists, most of them young, how to deal with reporting in a brand new democracy. When he returned, Friedman founded his Gray Matters column, which was ahead of its time, as a survival guide for older people. Gray Matters moved from Newsday to Time Goes By in November 2009.