Surf’s Up With Pulitzer Prize Winner William Finnegan

On Thursday, May 19, ALOUD welcomes back to the Pacific coast William Finnegan, the winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for biography and New Yorker staff writer. Finnegan’s award-winning new memoir, Barbarian Days, follows his lifelong adventures of chasing waves all over the world. From Guam, Samoa, Fiji to Africa, Finnegan vividly describes how his off-the-beaten-path quest to master the art of surfing led to a distinguished career in journalism. Before Finnegan discusses his thrilling new work with fellow surfing aficionado and writer David Rensin at ALOUD, dip into a few bodacious images from the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photo Collection.


Surfers at Santa Monica Beach
“Large group of surfers at Santa Monica beach wait for a good wave. Expected nine foot waves did not materialize at this location.” Photo dated: August 20, 1966. Photo by Terry Sullivan.


Surfing Elephant
“Surfers at Santa Monica were a little startled on April 28, 1962, to see a water-skiing elephant. Five-and-a-half-year-old Bimbo, Jr., one of the animal stars of the De Wayne Bros. Circus at Pacific Ocean Park, has the rare distinction of being the youngest elephant to perform this remarkable feat.” Photo from the Herald-Examiner Collection.



Hot Weather Art
“Surfers and their girls showed up today at Will Rogers State Park to enjoy the sand, surf, and high temperatures.” Dated December 21, 1972. Photo from the Herald-Examiner Collection.


79-Year-Old Surfer
“Surf riding has no age limit. At the Doheny Surfing Club is Ed Proctor, who will be 80 in two months.” Photo dated August 5, 1961. Photo from the Herald-Examiner Collection.


Surfer and Beetle
“With his car reflected in a reminder of last week’s rains, this surfer enjoys sunny weather at beach in Pacific Palisades.” The beach in the photograph is near Pacific Coast Highway and Temescal. Photo dated March 31, 1983. Photo by Chris Gulker.


Frieda Zamba
“World-class surfer Frieda Zamba, winner of her first heat in women’s division, smoothly negotiates her way before big breaker during Day 2 of O.P. pro surfing championship at Huntington Beach. Zamba, a three-time world champion, won rousing cheers from the estimated 40,000 on hand.” Photo dated: August 8, 1987. Photo by Mike Mullen.


Walking Out to the Surf
“A lone surfer walks below the piers, into the ocean waters as waves break past the pier in Venice.” Photo dated 1971, by Bob Steiner.


Browse other archival images from the Photo Collection and learn more about ALOUD’s upcoming programs.

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