Two Journeys to
One Wondrous Life.
Klein enlisted in the Navy right after graduation from high school in 1942 and seved in the Pacific during WWII. He then returned to the University of Nebraska (Johnny Carson was a fraternity brother and friend). He received a BA in Journalism, and went back into the Navy as an Ensign in 1949 and completed flight training in Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas. He became a fighter pilot on carriers and was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet just as the Korean War began.
His carrier, the U.S.S. Wright, took part in the first big NATO naval exercise, Operation Mainbrace, in September 1952. They operated in the North and Baltic Seas observing Russian Naval operations and were assigned the task of tracking their submarines. This was at the height of the Cold War.
Klein opted out of Active duty in mid 1953, but remained in the Naval Reserves until 1976 fulfilling all of his commitments. He went to work as a pilot for American Airlines, based in Idlewild and Laguardia. He took a leave of absence when he was notified he had been awarded a scholarship as the Hitchcock Scholar at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.
He earned his MS in Journalism in 1954.
He became an Associate Editor of Air Force Magazine in Washington, D.C. upon graduation from Columbia. He traveled widely for stories, including a trip to Europe to report on the progress of NATO.
He relocated to San Francisco in the Late 50’s and joined the Organizing Committee for the 1960 Olympic Winter Games at Squaw Valley. His interest in the sport dated to his WW2 stint in Seattle and Alaska. He bought his first ski equipment from Eddie Bauer out of his garage in Seattle.