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Take the plunge, with a little push

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Alicia Patterson grew up in a life of privilege and power, and a burning desire to please her father, publisher of the Daily News of New York City, drove her to found and operate one of the most successful newspapers of the 20th century.

But not before overcoming her moment of doubt.

That came in 1939, on honeymoon with her husband, Harry Guggenheim. Patterson believed that her father would leave her in a position of power one day at the Daily News, and Guggenheim thought she should prepare by running a small newspaper of her own. They got word that the Nassau Daily Journal, a paper on Long Island, was available.

Patterson balked; she wanted to give up on the plan. Guggenheim, however, insisted that they go through with it, and she finally agreed.

At that critical moment, Guggenheim supplied the wisdom and determination to push her into taking the first step. The result was Newsday, which Patterson built into a success.

The lesson: Sometimes, even the most determined people need a push to get them started.

— Adapted from “Hofstra University Biography of Alicia Patterson,” The Alicia Patterson Foundation, www.aliciapatterson.org.

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