Lucinda Franks interviews Robert Morgenthau on his astonishing decision

Still in love after 30 yearsLUCINDA: Mr. Morgenthau, dozens of writers and publishing houses have asked you to write your life story. What made you let your wife be your biographer?

ROBERT: Somebody had to do it.

LUCINDA: Why your wife?

ROBERT: I didn’t want to do all that work. I thought it would be easier if she did the work and…

LUCINDA: (aside: I thought it was because you loved me!)

ROBERT: …and because she already knew all about me.

LUCINDA: What was it like reading about yourself in the book?

ROBERT: Revealing.


ROBERT: Very revealing.

LUCINDA: (aside: can’t you say something intelligent?) How did it make you feel. You must have had feelings.

ROBERT: If you marry an investigative reporter, you have to expect to be investigated. However, that’s not why I married her.

LUCINDA: What does that have to do with my question? Do you know you’re acting just like the person portrayed in Ms. Franks’ memoir! You hide behind a bulletproof wall.

ROBERT: You’re the first reporter who’s interviewed me and yelled at me at the same time.

LUCINDA: Mr. Morgenthau, memoirs are controversial these days; people are accused of making things up. Did you think Ms. Franks was faithful to the truth?

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Lucinda’s Full Biography


I was born near Boston, in the manicured suburb of Wellesley, a universe away. It was a town, like many others, of wealth, social status, and women who often had raised noses. Wellesley College, one of the famous ‘Seven Sisters,’ was a separate entity, hardly spoken of. Instead, the guilty pleasure of this upper middle class Republican enclave was the paranoid John Birch Society, mother to the paranoid Tea Party decades later. In my memory, the town remains a collage of slouchy bobby sox (pity to you if you wore thin skinny sox), ‘make-out parties’ where stubby hands groped underneath shirtwaist dresses the color of popsicles, and boy’s big football cleats swinging absurdly from their girlfriends’ necks.

I can smell the delicious hamburgers sizzling by the pool at the country club, see the blinding green golf course filled with men in red pants and yellow V-necked sweaters swinging their clubs with a mighty whistle while the wives glided off to Garden Club in little hats that hugged their heads. Divorce never happened. But behind certain curtains, you wondered why it didn’t. I knew this because I was a neighborhood babysitter. One smiling couple would come home, pay me, and as soon as I was out the door, the shouts and the smash of glass would begin. I would jump on my bike and pump down the deadly dusky streets.

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