Thursday, May 03, 2012 12:00 AM

Alan Schwarz & the 92-year-old bootlegger

New York Times reporter Alan Schwarz '90 was recently featured on influential media blog JimRomenesko.com. Romenesko interviewed Schwarz about recent front-page article he wrote for the Times about 92-year-old Hyman Strachman. 

Schwarz had heard from a friend about how Strachman was making bootleg DVDs and sending them to American troops stationed around the world. Schwarz was able to track down Strachman, who lives in Long Island, and talk to him about why he started his pirated DVD program.

"He was nothing but a delight," Schwarz, a former editor of the Weekly Pennsylvanian and Summer Pennsylvanian, told Romenesko. "He was charming, he was a fun story teller. He acknowledged what he did was illegal -- he wasn't oblivious to that." Romenesko details how Schwarz came upon the story, which Schwartz describes as the lucky happenstance of being mentioned in conversation with an old friend during their respective five year old kids' play-date. "As soon as she said, 'he’s a 92-year-old guy bootlegging DVDs for the troops,' I knew it would be on the front page of the New York Times."

To read the New York Times piece, click here. To read the Romenesko piece, click here.

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