Mark Segal Really Liked Frank Rizzo

Plus, the boisterous Philadelphia Gay News publisher tells us about his coming out and why he'll never retire.






My name is … Mark Segal.

I am a … publisher, activist, developer, community organizer, and I think I have a few other hats.

On Valentine’s Day … I will try to make it as romantic and silly as possible for me and my partner Jason, who is not easily amused. We’ve been together for nine years.

The most famous person I ever met was … President Obama. And Hillary Clinton. And my friend and mentor Walter Cronkite. At least, those are the names I can mention.

I decided to come out … in 1969, because it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to lie to my parents, who were, to my shock and chagrin, beyond accepting.

The last time I left the country … I went on a Black Sea cruise to the Ukraine. My father’s family immigrated from Odessa, and I wanted to trace his roots.

When I was 12 … I was rambunctious and opinionated. But charming.

My go-to board game is … Monopoly. I’m usually the dog. But I never win.

Before I go to bed each night … I relax with a vodka and Diet Coke and watch the Daily Show and Stephen Colbert.

My most extravagant material possession is … my house in Queen ­Village. I bought it nearly 20 years ago, and I’ve made it extremely comfortable. There’s a spa and roof deck.

The best movie I’ve ever seen … was also the most painful: Schindler’s List. It brought home to me the horrors of my relatives.

My secret food indulgence is … food.

The last book I read … was The Drillmaster of Valley Forge, a biography of Baron de Steuben. I love U.S. history, and there would be no United States of America without him.

I really worry about … very little. What should I be worried about? The future is bright.

The best building in Philadelphia is … City Hall. It has some incredibly gorgeous rooms inside.

If someone were to play me in a movie … it would have to be Danny DeVito or that mob guy on HBO … James Gandolfini. Or that guy on Broadway … Nathan Lane.

The first concert I ever went to was … the Beatles at Philly’s Convention Hall in the early ’60s. I got all of their autographs, but in those days, who would have ever thought they’d be worth anything? At some point, I lost them.

I will retire … never. I don’t understand the word.

My favorite Philadelphians past or present are … Ben Franklin, the Bill Gates of his day. And I liked Frank Rizzo, an absolutely crazy character. And Wilson Goode really cared about people. But Thacher Longstreth holds a fond place in my heart. He was called “Mr. Philadelphia,” and that’s something I aspire to.