Robert Caro & Reed Penney (January 2003)

Robert Caro & Reed Penney
(January 2003)

In the Fall of 2002 during Reed Penney’s senior year at New York University he began work as an intern for actor/producer Bob Balaban’s production company Chicago Films. Next door to Chicago Films office was the office of Pulitzer prize winning biographer Robert Caro. Earlier that year Reed had read a book review of Caro’s recent biography on Lyndon Johnson, Master of the Senate, in Time magazine and was immediately fascinated not only with the story of Lyndon Johnson but Robert Caro as well.

The first volume of Caro’s LBJ biography, The Path to Power, was published in 1982. A second volume, Means of Ascent, was published in 1990. Reed thought how does one man devote more than twenty years of his life to the study of one person and his impact on American life in the 20th century? It also happens Reed had begun taking a broadcast journalism class taught by Emmy winning filmmaker Jim Brown. Professor Brown encouraged Reed to pursue Caro as a documentary subject.

After sometime Mr. Caro, his wife Ina, and many of his colleagues agreed to interviews for a documentary on Mr. Caro’s life and career. The result was Robert Caro: Understanding Power. Enjoy!