Count Sanche de Gramont
Author Ted Morgan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newsman for the old New York Herald-Tribune, spent the summer of 1955 as a Worcester Telegram reporter. During that summer, as well as later at the Trib, Morgan sported a different byline, known then to his readers as Sanche de Gramont. Make that Count Sanche de Gramont, a descendant of French royalty. Think the Dowager Duchess Donna Maria Ruspoli de Gramont of Aix-en-Provence, for example.
De Gramont officially became Morgan in 1973, when he also renounced his title, all as a prelude to becoming an American citizen. He expects that to happen in September.
From his New York base, Morgan writes as a free-lance and as a biographer.
'I knew very little about Worcester when I first came here,' Morgan said in a recent interview. 'I had never been in New England before. I just knew Worcester was a manufacturing town.'
Morgan also knew that he wanted to be a newsman. Soon after graduating from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, the late Frank Murphy, the Telegram's legendary managing editor, offered him a job. Morgan leapt at the chance, and took up digs in a rooming house near 20 Franklin Street, where the Telegram was edited.
'My life then was centred around my job. I would stay quite late. And I didn't have many friends. My life was my job. It was my first newspaper job, and it was a very formative experience.'
When he did allow himself some free time, he wound up eating a 99-cent dinner at the Eden Restaurant, next door to 20 Franklin, or visit a girlfriend in Boston.
'There was a certain drabness about the city. It was always in the shadow of Boston.'
Morgan had plans to stay at the paper beyond his summer stint. The French Army had a different idea, however, drafting him to serve in Algeria. Quick on his feet, Morgan arranged with Murphy to do occasional war-related reports.
'I think I was the Worcester Telegram's only foreign correspondent at the time,' he said.
(This article was written in 1978 as part of series of six snapshots of personalities who had 'Worcester connections.' This article is being published here for the first time).