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Former Gunn student wins Pulitzer

Jim Yardley, the New York Times reporter stationed in China who won a Pulitzer Prize this week, wrote his first news story in 1981 when he was a Gunn High School student.

That was the same year his father, Washington Post columnist and book critic Jonathan Yardley, won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Yardley's mother, Rosemary Yardley, was for years an editorial writer for the Greensboro, N.C., News and Record. She won a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University that year.

Jim's younger brother, William, then a student at Escondido School, also is now a journalist for the New York Times.

Jim Yardley's stay in Palo Alto in 1981 was recalled by Palo Altan Mark Weiss, now an artist manager and concert promoter. In 1981 Weiss was co-editor of the Oracle student newspaper at Gunn.

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Weiss said he met Yardley and they became friends when Jim was still playing football. Then he learned of his parents being journalists.

"I said, 'Dude, you've got to work for our staff,'" Weiss recalled.

"It was his first byline. It wasn't like he brought down a corrupt administration at the high school or anything, but he wrote a story about students who took public transportation to school, compared to taking a school bus.

"It wasn't an earth-shattering story but it showed he had an eye for a good story," Weiss said. "He was a good guy and we liked him, and a couple of us have stayed in touch over the years. He is a very nice, low-key guy -- a southern gentleman from North Carolina."

The Pulitzer Prize was for Yardley's coverage of legal issues in China. He has also written extensively about other issues, from the arrest of a researcher for the Times to the rising price of noodles and subsequent rising anger of citizens.

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Former Gunn student wins Pulitzer

Uploaded: Fri, Apr 21, 2006, 11:19 am

Jim Yardley, the New York Times reporter stationed in China who won a Pulitzer Prize this week, wrote his first news story in 1981 when he was a Gunn High School student.

That was the same year his father, Washington Post columnist and book critic Jonathan Yardley, won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Yardley's mother, Rosemary Yardley, was for years an editorial writer for the Greensboro, N.C., News and Record. She won a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University that year.

Jim's younger brother, William, then a student at Escondido School, also is now a journalist for the New York Times.

Jim Yardley's stay in Palo Alto in 1981 was recalled by Palo Altan Mark Weiss, now an artist manager and concert promoter. In 1981 Weiss was co-editor of the Oracle student newspaper at Gunn.

Weiss said he met Yardley and they became friends when Jim was still playing football. Then he learned of his parents being journalists.

"I said, 'Dude, you've got to work for our staff,'" Weiss recalled.

"It was his first byline. It wasn't like he brought down a corrupt administration at the high school or anything, but he wrote a story about students who took public transportation to school, compared to taking a school bus.

"It wasn't an earth-shattering story but it showed he had an eye for a good story," Weiss said. "He was a good guy and we liked him, and a couple of us have stayed in touch over the years. He is a very nice, low-key guy -- a southern gentleman from North Carolina."

The Pulitzer Prize was for Yardley's coverage of legal issues in China. He has also written extensively about other issues, from the arrest of a researcher for the Times to the rising price of noodles and subsequent rising anger of citizens.

Jay Thorwaldson

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