Kenneth Zimmerman sure loves to write letters, says Susannah Cahalan in the New York Post. Since 1987, the retired administrative analyst has dashed off more than 38,000 letters to newspapers and magazines. An estimated 1,600 have been published. “You might call it an addiction,” he says, “but it’s a good addiction.” Working from home in Huntington Beach, Calif., Zimmerman, 62, often stays up until 2 a.m., researching and spouting off on all manner of subjects. He has weighed in on tobacco lawsuits, in Time (“Why should smokers, most of whom knew what they were doing was harmful, be rewarded for their stupidity?”); Bernie Madoff’s financial scam, in The Philadelphia Inquirer (“He should be charged with murder”); and Jennifer Lopez’s fashion sense in the Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram (“sleazy, disgusting, immoral”). “Everything, everything is interesting,” he says. “There’s always something to write about, a zillion things to write about every day. The hard part is narrowing it down.” Zimmerman thinks of his hobby as a lost art. “Letter writing is dying, and it’s very unfortunate. I think it’s as much a voice of freedom as anything.” Not everyone shares his fascination—including his ex-wife of 16 years and his grown son, whom he sees only rarely. “I think they thought when I wrote I was neglecting them, because I had to be alone. I guess everything has a price to pay.”
His life in letters
January 16, 2009
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