Seymour Rothman Inducted 1989 - Class of 1932
Seymour Rothman, Class of 1932, grew up in the Moore-Lagrange area, a neighborhood he describes as blue-collar, populated by Germans, Poles, and Jews, with few, if any, problems. After graduating from Sherman School, he went on to Woodward, making many friends, especially the entire TATTLER staff. His closest friends were Joe Stein, Joe Altschuler and Mike Hoffenblaum. His favorite teachers included Marie Doering Ersig, of course, along with Anna Wetterman, Howard Phipps, Philo Dunsmore, Homer Hanham, Art Smith, Rollie Bevan, and Charles LaRue - people he grew to appreciate even more after graduation. His best memories of Woodward are those of companionships with fellow students, walks home from school, working out in the gym, admiring skills of industrial arts teachers, and just hanging out.
In 1929, his sophomore year, Seymour became Woodward’s correspondent for the TOLEDO TIMES, a job in which he covered all the school's activities for the newspaper. He considers getting this job the most important thing that happened to him while at Woodward because it made the
connection that set up his career. The job of correspondent gave him the recognition and sense of importance which helped to build his self-confidence.
Seymour graduated from Woodward in 1932 and went on to the University of Toledo. He, again, was correspondent for the TIMES and, in addition, carried copy on weekends and during the summer. While at the university, Seymour also worked on the CAMPUS COLLEGIAN, the student newspaper.
In the Fall of 1936, after graduating from college, Seymour was offered a job by Bob French, a TOLEDO BLADE sportswriter. Since there were no vacancies at the TOLEDO TIMES, he took the job. After a few years, he was assigned as a City Desk reporter. Here he learned much about newspaper writing from such prominent reporters as Lou Klewer, Dick McGeorge, Norm Hauger, Fred Mollenkopf, George Jinks, and Urban Murphy. It was as a reporter in 1941 that Seymour wrote a story that gave him the greatest satisfaction. It concerned the establishment of chapters of, at that time, a little known organization called Alcoholics Anonymous. He was approached by some prominent merchants who had drinking problems and needed help in showing people the importance of the organization. Seymour was so impressed by these men that he wrote the story. It brought him more phone calls and letters than he would ever receive and the story helped chapters to spring up in churches and many homes.
During World War II, Seymour served in North Africa and Italy in the Army Transportation Corps with Allied Force H headquarters. in the Mediterranean Theater. He was awarded a Bronze Star for devising a weekly report that went out to units that used transportation services.
Upon returning from military service, Seymour requested and received a transfer to the Blade Sports Department, a position he held for 20 years. He then was reassigned as a feature writer, a position he still holds. His "I've Heard" column appears twice a week in the The BLADE’S Peach Section, and his "Electronic Pressbox" column appears each Saturday, also in the Peach Section.
The list of people Seymour has interviewed impresses even him. They include: Charles Dana, David Black, Art Modell, Nick Mileti, Billy Martin, Allen Saunders, Edward J. DeBartolo, Jerry Lewis, and Loretta Lynn. His interview with Loretta Lynn was mentioned in her best-selling book, Coal Miner's Daughter. Loretta stated that Seymour acted as if he didn't know too much about country music and that she thought the article he was writing would be a disaster. Instead, the article turned out beautifully, a "real nice job," she stated, and she realized that she should have known everything would be all right because "Mr. Rothman was a true professional."
Through doors "opened by newspapering," Seymour has sold a motion picture, has had a syndicated sports cartoon strip for better than two years, and has had a number of articles printed in READER'S DIGEST and other magazines. The newspaper business has also enabled him to publish a how-to book, Your Memoirs: Collecting Them for Fun and Posterity. The book describes an easy way to record experiences, the lessons they teach, the thoughts they inspire; and then how to pass these on to children and grandchildren. .
Seymour and his wife, Mae, have two children: a son, Bob, who is a lawyer for General Motors in charge of legal matters for GM Europe; and, a daughter, Betty Pfeiffer, who owns "High Energy Sports," a plant in Santa Ana, California, that manufactures parachutes, harnesses for hang gliders, and special equipment for race cars.
In his own words, Seymour states, "My career in journalism has been exciting, challenging, rewarding, satisfying, fascinating - but mostly fun!" He may not realize that he has enabled all of us to have "fun" and get pleasure from reading the thousands of articles he has written.