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A Letter From The Publisher, Aug. 11, 1952

3 minute read

When TIME recently ran a story about Dr. William Barry Wood Jr. (May 19), some old-TIMErs recalled that Wood had appeared on TIME’S cover as a star quarterback more than 20 years ago (Nov. 23, 1931). I wondered what had become of a number of other cover subjects of past years who seem to have dropped from the public’s sight.

Wood, who represented the rare combination of All-America athlete and Phi Beta Kappa student, was captain of Harvard’s football team when he made the cover. Another TIME story a year later showed that he was doing more than just passing and running with the ball on the football field. With the help of his teammates, who smeared pin-pricked drops of their blood onto slides during the games, Wood was measuring the effect of exercise on white corpuscles in the blood.

That laboratory exercise foreshadowed the career he was to follow. Wood studied medicine, eventually became head of Internal Medicine and youngest medical professor at Washington University, St. Louis, and made new discoveries about the destruction of bacteria by white blood cells.

Another athlete who appeared on the cover of TIME in the same period was Ben Eastman, the crack Stanford middle-distance runner. Eastman was 25 when he retired from track and took a job doing credit work with the Oakland Atlas Imperial Diesel Engine Co. In 1946, he opened his own business, the Atlas Equipment Co., distributor of Westinghouse air compressors in the San Francisco area. Now 41, he usually gets up to take a 6 a.m. jog of a half mile or so to keep in condition. Of the link between college and business careers, he says: “One thing track has done for me is that it has given me experience in competition. And selling sure is competitive.”

Just before World War II ended, Robert Evans Woods, first cadet captain of the graduating class at West Point, appeared on TIME’S cover (June 11, 1945). Woods had spent two years at Annapolis, switched to West Point the third year. As a result, he played football for both Army and Navy.

After graduation, Woods went to the Pacific, spent three years with the occupation forces in Japan. Feeling he had little to offer the peacetime Army, Woods resigned in 1949, is now assistant traffic manager for the Schaefer F & M Brewing Co. in New York City. He has two sons, 5 and 3. He would like to see both in West Point one day, but he wants them to make that decision themselves, says: “If they want to go to school in Iceland, it will be all right with me.”

A different kind of cover subject was Farmer Gustav Kuester (TIME, April 29, 1946), chosen to typify U.S. farmers. In addition to working 240 acres of Iowa farmland with his son, Dale, Kuester had been a Republican member of the Iowa legislature for twelve years.

Since the cover story ran, Kuester has served two terms as speaker of the Iowa House. He was urged to run for governor in 1948, but refused. At 64, he is still primarily a farmer, gets up at 5:30 for the milking, helps with the haying, goes to bed at 9:30. Last month he listened to the convention sessions, fell asleep a few times. “It got pretty late some of those nights,” he explained.

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