PHIL BEUTH is the author of "Limping on Water," which chronicles his 40-year adventure with Capital Cities/ABC-TV. Phil spent his entire broadcasting career with one company. As the first employee of a fledgling media startup in 1955, Capital Cities Communications, Phil worked his way up through the ranks over a 40-year span as Capital Cities grew to become one of America's most influential and successful media companies, including stints as a division president of ABC and Good Morning america.Born with cerebral palsy, Phil persevered through a combination of luck, pluck, strength of character, skill, persistence and loyalty. He grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood of Staten Island to parents of English and German stock in 1932. To say that Phil's origins were humble is like saying the Yankees know a thing or two about baseball. The young struggling family was crushed by the tragic death of Phil's father when Phil was just four, causing his mother to park her young, physically impaired son with her step-father, an embittered, war-wounded veteran (of the Spanish-American War!), who ran a ramshackle "Sanford and Son" junk business out of his backyard.Phil never says never, and raised himself up by his orthopedic bootstraps to become a respected and honored leader in his field, a member of two Broadcasting Halls of Fame, head of Good Morning America and a Division President of ABC. His career brought Phil into contact with a who's who of the world, including partners and celebrities like Ted Knight, Lowell Thomas, Charlie Gibson, Sir Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, Cher, Jackie Robinson, Red Barber, Nelson Rockefeller, Barbara Walters, Warren Buffett, Sammy Davis Jr., Burt Reynolds, Red Skelton, Muhammad Ali, and many more. Phil had a front-row seat--and participated on the stage--of the real-life "Mad Man" era of TV, a time when broadcasting as we know it came into being. Through it all, Phil lives by the mantra of "doing well and doing good."
It's rare that a personal story can adequately serve as a history of a company - but because the company concentrated on people - Beuth's humble and evocative memoir comes close.--Michael D. Langan, NBC-2.com Culture Critic