I wrote earlier about politicians and celebrities seeking exposure at funerals. Here is the best analysis of a recent, over-hyped death. Simon Jenkins is one of the few to point out that a white man was the unsung hero of South African politics...which I knew. But, being a seemingly modest man, he kept out of the limelight.
To add to my series Me and Famous People, I will relate the time I spent with Nelson Mandela.
During the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, we stayed in the same hotel, the official IOC hotel (Princess Sofia). I seem to recall an entourage of one; I had none, although I did have a number of people reporting to me strewn around the city.
He was visiting the Games in his capacity of president of South Africa; I was managing the millions adidas spent and/or wasted on that Olympic Games. We rode the elevator together, and he was the charming man one often sees in news reports. The performance of his nation’s team gave him nothing to be cheerful about, so I assumed that his demeanor was natural. He knew of adidas, and I knew of South Africa, so we were equal in something.
After the ride, he continued his life of being famous, and I went back to work...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.