The Foghorn’s history is full of figures that have gone on to be successful in their careers. Alan Ziajka, USF historian emeritus and author of four books on the University of San Francisco, said that “the members of the Foghorn staff are really some of our most exceptional students.”
For many, working at the Foghorn acted as a springboard for a career in journalism and media. Class of ‘03 alumna and former Foghorn managing editor, Shadi Rahimi, now serves as an award-winning documentarian and executive producer for AJ+, a digital news project from Al Jazeera. Rob Fischer ‘05, is now a senior editor of The New Yorker. Fatima Duran Ramírez ‘12, former Foghorn news editor, is now the executive director at Acción Latina, the publisher of bilingual newspaper El Tecolote. Karim Iliya ‘12, is a photographer, ocean conservationist, and filmmaker headed to the moon as part of the SpaceX dearMoon project. Lucas Waldron ‘13, now works as a graphics editor at ProPublica, and Amanda Andrade-Rhoades ‘14, was awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for her photojournalism for the Washington Post during the Jan. 6 Insurrection.
Outside the realm of journalism, Foghorn alumnus Pete Rozelle ’50, served as the National Football League commissioner from 1960 to 1989. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he “guided the league through a period of unprecedented growth.” Sunny Angulo ‘04, now serves as the chief of staff to San Francisco Board of Supervisor President Aaron Peskin. Class of ‘08 alumna Lulu McAllister Cunningham became a nationally recognized wine sommelier.
Likely the most well-known Foghorn alumnus is the late Pierre Salinger ‘47, who worked as the managing editor at the Foghorn in the late 1950s. After working at the Foghorn, Salinger became President John F. Kennedy’s press secretary, continuing the job under President Lyndon B. Johnson before becoming a California senator in 1964. In 1968, Salinger appeared in an episode of the ABC show “Batman”, starring Adam West, and served as a features commentator for the same network.
Gordon Bowker, co-founder of Starbucks Coffee, worked on the Foghorn’s staff from 1962 to 1965, as news editor, managing editor, and editor in chief. In 1965, Bowker famously sent a Foghorn reporter and photographer to cover the Second March on Selma. In 1971, the first Starbucks storefront opened.
Ziajka said, “I would encourage no matter what your future career may be to spend some time with the Foghorn.”
Kaleb Martinez contributed to the reporting of this story.
Editor’s Note: The headline of this article is based on a 1961 Foghorn story of the same name, which highlighted the achievements of Salinger, along with Wilson O’Brien ’30, editor of the San Francisco Examiner, and James K McGee, ‘30, a former sports writer and president of the San Francisco chapter of the Baseball Writers of America.