Most people retire in their 60s or 70s…but a few find new careers at that age or later. Evelyn DeWolfe, a lifelong journalist who turned to writing books in her 80s, has not only done that…but today, at the age of 94, is still going strong. She will sign her fifth and latest new book “Line of Sight,” at Chevalier’s Books today (Saturday, November 5), starting at 3 p.m.
DeWolf’s new book is a biography of legendary TV producer and engineering genius Klaus Landsberg, who helped introduce the Western U.S.’s first commercially licensed television station, KTLA, in 1947. According to press materials, the book explores “the two dramatic decades from Landsberg’s work on the first TV broadcasts at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and his escape from Nazi Germany, through his struggles to realize the full potential of television before his untimely death from cancer at the age of 40.”
The promotion goes on to note that Landsberg worked with NBC on the introduction of television at the 1939 New York World’s Fair…and by 1941 was in charge of creating a television operation from scratch for Paramount Pictures, which eventually became KTLA.
DeWolfe, who was born in Rio de Janeiro, wrote for the LA Times for 40 years, and now lives in the Hollywood Hills. She was also – not coincidentally – married to Landsberg during those early television years. She wrote the book with George Lewis, who was an Emmy-winning NBC News correspondent for 42 years.
DeWolfe told the Buzz this morning that her (and Landsberg’s) son started asking her to write about Landsberg’s life after he died in 1956, and repeated the requests for decades after that. Then, more recently, Lewis contacted her, saying he was very interested in the early history of television, and Landsberg’s role in it. “That really pushed me forward,” said DeWolfe. She also realized that Los Angeles was home to “so many firsts” in television history, and Landsberg – who was often called the “golden boy” of that era of television history – deserved to have his story told. “It’s like leaving something of the heritage, the legacy, for the younger people,” she said.
DeWolfe said she continues writing in her mid 90s because it’s an “obsession.” “It’s in your blood, you have to write.” DeWolfe said also that “The older you get, the smarter you get,” so writing gets easier, in a way, as she ages. “It’s a time of introspection in your life.”
DeWolfe describes herself as a very happy person, and says she “can’t wait to start working” each day. She also finds modern technology a big help. “I’m a contemporary woman,” she says. “I’m not a fossil standing around waiting to be discovered.” In fact, she’s already working on her next book, a memoir about her involvement in Japan’s Geisha culture in the 1960s.
The public is welcome to come and meet DeWolfe at Chevalier’s this afternoon. You can also read more about her, and her books, at http://www.readevelyn.com/