‘When Larry Met Amy...’: Former Spectrum editors-in-chief from the '70s married and reflect on time at UB
Amy Dunkin and Larry Kraftowitz would frequently get pancakes at 2 a.m. after they finished sending in The Spectrum to print in the 1970s. He was the editor-in-chief in 1974 while she was managing editor. She became EIC in 1975.
They met in the Goodyear Hall lounge on South Campus. Kraftowitz vaguely remembers he was working on a story for The Spectrum. They took classes together, such as Romantic poetry and became close, platonic friends, he said. After UB, they both interned in Washington D.C. at, Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service for four months. When she moved to New York City and he needed a place to stay, he slept on her couch and they got dinner together. Fifteen years later, they got married, and they now have two sons, ages 18 and 21. Dunkin compares their situation to “When Harry Met Sally…”
“The Spectrum brought me in contact with her constantly. You spend a lot of time with people, hours and hours and hours editing and making decisions; you start to get very close,” Kraftowitz said. “There was always a kind of spark there.”
Dunkin and Kraftowitz visited the Spectrum newsroom with their younger son on Accepted Students’ Day on April 15 to peruse The Spectrum archives. They covered the Attica trials, the Watergate scandal and worked alongside notable reporters, such as Fox News journalist Howard Kurtz and Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for The Washington Post, Tom Toles.
After working at several newspapers, Dunkin is now the Director of Academic Operations at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Kraftowitz, now a board-certified internist in Westchester County, said The Spectrum was a pivotal moment in his life.
“One of the things that brought me to campus originally was the history,” Kraftowitz said. “There had been some riots and a lot of demonstrations that were during the Vietnam War, a lot of anti-war activity and for some reason, that attracted me. I remember how people would say Buffalo is sort of the Berkeley of the East.”
During their time at UB, Dunkin never took a journalism class. She joined The Spectrum during her freshman year in 1971 in what she called “the glory years.” Kraftowitz had trouble staying on top of his course-load, and officially finished his bachelor’s degree nine years later in 1984.
“We were totally consumed by the paper –– dawn to dusk,” Kraftowitz said. “For me, being editor-in-chief was all-consuming. I couldn’t multi-task. I did that and nothing else for the most part. ... It was my life at UB.”
Hannah Stein is the editor in chief and can be reached at email@example.com and @HannahJStein.