Little did I know when I began writing a column for the local weekly paper during my junior year in high school that I would spend most of my adult life as a newspaper reporter and that most of my career would be spent in Newark, NJ, the city where my family pretty much got its start in the United States. Or that my reporting days would end more than 40 years later with the mob throwing me a retirement party at the same time the U.S. Justice Department was giving me a plaque for my coverage of organized crime. But it was that kind of career and I enjoyed every minute of it. Along the way, I covered the longest criminal trials in the histories of both the New Jersey state courts and U.S. federal courts, two Super Bowls, the 1994 World Cup, jazz singer Sarah Vaughan’s funeral, Frank Sinatra’s 75th birthday concert, Bruce Springsteen’s opening of the Meadowlands Arena in 1981 and the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. And those were just a few of the highlights. I was also the only New Jersey-based reporter to interview ex-President Richard Nixon after he moved to the Garden State to try and recast his image, and did so twice. There were the 18 years I spent working on behalf of Jimmy Landano, a state prison inmate who was wrongly convicted (and eventually cleared) of killing a Newark cop during an armed robbery, as well as my effort in helping The Star-Ledger get chosen a finalist for its first-ever Pulitzer Prize for our coverage of a college dormitory fire that claimed the lives of three and left scores injured in 2000. And then there were all of the stories about Newark and its glorious past. Maybe the least publicized of my major pieces was the one that David Chase, creator of HBO’s The Sopranos, picked up on and used as the theme for his 2003 season, shows that were honored the following year with the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, the first time a cable TV program won the award. In between the news stories, I managed to squeeze in more than two dozen in-depth, music-related feature articles, stories that in 2007 earned me an ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award given nationally for excellence in music writing. It was the most prestigious individual award I won, and I’m very proud of it. After retiring from newspapers in 2009, I did some full-length pieces on Newark history for a local radio station, got involved presenting or organizing a variety of programs of historic interest in Newark and wrote a book. I not only learned something from each of those projects, they brought me a great deal of personal satisfaction. You’ll find most of all this here on this web site and on related pages, and I invite you to share in any or all of it as you please. My hope is you’ll come away with a sense of who I was and what I was about as an active reporter and then a retired one. Welcome to my life, welcome to my legacy.
Use the menu above to navigate between the various stages of Guy’s career.
For more about Guy Sterling, please visit his YouTube and Wikipedia pages, or browse his digital archive.
For a video about people’s reading habits, click here.
For a story that The New York Times wrote about Guy, click here.
For a story about the retirement dinner the mob threw for Guy, click here.
For a story about Bruce Springsteen, click here.