Pulse: Chatter: Philadelphia magazine 100 Years

In honor of our centennial, we look back at some of the stories that shaped Philly Mag


One of the defining stories of the magazine’s fearless, muckraking era was Greg Walter’s “The Dancing Master” (July 1969), about the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, the venerable Bucks County charity. Walter revealed that one of the foundation’s heads had taken advantage of renowned author and philanthropist Buck, then 77, financially and emotionally — and had possibly sexually abused some children. The story prompted an investigation and ultimately destroyed Buck. “It was indeed big, and typical of Philadelphia magazine’s blockbusters of that era,” recalls Bernie McCormick, then the magazine’s associate editor. Walter, who had once taken a writing class under Buck, was torn about his story. “In the hope of rebuilding the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, a great woman may suffer deeply,” he told the magazine. “For that I am sorry.”