As a kid who grew up chubby, I just marveled at the fact that I could be thin.
I’m a half-breed. You know, I’m Puerto Rican and Norwegian from descent, and I grew up, born and raised in New York City, and I stood out amongst my friends in my community. I was very blond-haired, white, and ‘Lemonhead’ was the name that they gave me.
As I grew older – collapsing into my seventies, glimpsing ahead the cliffs of the eighties, colliding into eighty-five – poetry abandoned me.
For a person who grew up in the ’30s and ’40s in the segregated South, with so many doors closed without explanation to me, libraries and books said, ‘Here I am, read me.’ Over time I have learned I am at my best around books.
I do have a really good memory. I mean, like, I can remember all the phone numbers of everybody on the street I grew up on.
I grew up in a scientific world, the son of a neurosurgeon.
I grew up Jewish, became an atheist and a Marxist, and 28 years ago, at age 26, became a Christian.
I grew up in war and saw the United Nations help my country to recover and rebuild. That experience was a big part of what led me to pursue a career in public service. As Secretary-General, I am determined to see this organization deliver tangible, meaningful results that advance peace, development and human rights.
I grew up with injustice and could do nothing about it. But once in America, I had freedom of choice.
I was born and grew up in Fitzgerald, way down in south Georgia. It was a mill town and my family ran the cotton mill. My grandfather was mayor many times and my family felt deeply rooted to that spot.