Sidney Harman, the ninety-two year old stereo magnate who bought Newsweek for $1 last year, died last week of acute myeloid leukemia. Several weeks before his death, however, he penned a short essay detailing his fight against cancer and affirming his commitment to the struggling, reinvented newsweekly.
Newsweek has published that essay, "Hey, Cancer: Go Stand in the Corner" in this week's issue. In it, Harman strikes an optimistic pose after his diagnosis, declares his intention to beat back the disease because "I have important stuff to do" and outlines his unwavering interest in the "renewal and reinvention of media." He writes:
While I accept the “gentle” chemo they prescribe, I will be preparing my lectures at the University of Southern California or studying NEWSWEEK’s latest operating results—or reading, or listening to music, or mentally practicing my imagined elegant golf swing.
Perhaps more importantly in the short-term business prospects for the magazine, he also spelled out his estate's unwavering investment in the future of the Newsweek/Daily Beast media venture:
They are solidly financed and will continue to be. I am convinced that I make significant business and intellectual contributions, but I know that the enterprise will move forward, if necessary, without me.