Brian Thomas | DW News - latest news and breaking stories | DW | 21.06.2015
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Brian Thomas

As a journalist, I strive to be a trusted guide, traveling with our viewers through landscapes where getting an overview can be tough, always looking for heights and clearings where we can get the best perspective.

Born in:
Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

Languages:
German, English, enough Spanish to confuse the waiter and enough Latin to pretend I was paying attention to the priest.

Degrees/Journalistic experience:
Loyola Marymount Univ. Los Angeles B.A., Northern Arizona Univ. B.S., UC Irvine Fellowship for Writing, and a state of California teaching credential.

With DW since:
in Berlin since 1999, before that with DW in Brussels and Cologne.

Favorite quote:
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." Henry David Thoreau.

My personal hero:
John F. Kennedy.

What do I strive to be as a journalist?
As a journalist, I strive to be a trusted guide, traveling with our viewers through landscapes where getting an overview can be tough, always looking for heights and clearings where we can get the best perspective on the terrain.

7 things that turned John F. Kennedy into my personal hero
1. He broke down the walls of bigotry and discrimination to become America’s first Catholic president, paving the way for more equality for all citizens under the law.
2. He was a visionary, and daringly called into life a space program that would put a man on the moon (with a little help from Wernher von Braun).
3. He wanted to end the Vietnam war and reign in the "state within the state" he saw the intelligence agencies becoming.
4. Saying Americans had "gone soft" he created the "Presidential Fitness Award" to get American students off the couch and out exercising in the fresh air. I remember doing my sit ups, push ups and running the 600 yard dash to qualify. President Obama reintroduced a similar program in 2012, with studies showing school children in far worse shape than they were in the 1960s.
5. He was a powerful rhetorician. At my Jesuit prep school we studied his eloquence, using his speeches as templates for our own in public speaking tournaments. Who can forget quotes like: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
6. He was a brilliant author. His book „Profiles in Courage“ in 1956 was a best seller and nominated for a Pulitzer. It told the story of great American politicians who risked all for their beliefs and their vision of how to guarantee and protect the nation’s treasured freedoms and liberty.
7. For all his greatness, he was as frail and weak as the rest of us mere mortals, and in the end, his life and that of his own family and the entire Kennedy clan would fall under the shadow of tragedy and loss that even those with the most resilient of characters would find heavy to bear.