As it Happened is a landmark memoir, the first of its kind by a giant of the communications media. It is the intimate and straightforward story of an original, the life and growth of an extraordinary man and the company he built, CBS.
In the book, William S. Paley reminisced about his personal life and his life with CBS—from the celebrities of the entertainment world to the business and political leaders of America to the journalistic controversies still in the news.
Paley bought CBS when it was a small struggling company called United Independent Broadcasting and when he was a young man still in his twenties. Within months he had begun a transformation which shaped CBS into one of the world's greatest communications empires. And still he found time to enjoy the "Roaring Twenties" in Paris, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York.
A brilliant and creative businessman dealing for high stakes, Paley foresaw the cultural and informational impact of radio, and later, television. With an uncanny eye for spotting entertainment talent, he "discovered" for radio Bing Crosby, Kate Smith, Will Rogers, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Whiteman; and those he did not discover, he lured to CBS: Jack Benny, Amos and Andy, George Burns, Red Skelton, and a host of others.
But this book covers more than radio and television—it is about the tastes and trends of American culture, written by the man who helped to create and refine many of them. William S. Paley was CBS. His life touched virtually every major event of the twentieth century. This is a fascinating and revealing work about a man who perhaps more than any other, brought the great events of our times to us.