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Joseph E. Persico was born July 19, 1930 in Gloversville, New York. In 1952, after receiving a BA in both English and Political Science from the New York State College for Teachers, he entered the U.S. Navy and remained in the military for three years. In 1956, Persico enrolled at Columbia University to begin his graduate work. His career as a political writer began that same year. In 1966, he became the chief speechwriter for New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, remaining Rockefeller's primary speechwriter as the Governor served as Vice President of the United States from 1974 to 1977. Afterward, Persico became a full-time author, focusing on historical subjects. In 1990, he wrote a biography of Edward R. Murrow entitled Edward R. Murrow: An American Original.
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