I'm typically not one to worry about my age either. Thirty-five was tough for me. According to the Constitution, one must be at least 35 years old to be elligible to become president of the United States. It bothered me that I was nowhere near ready to become president when I turned 35, but I truly have no political aspirations, and Teddy Roosevelt remains the youngest to become president at age 42 after McKinley was assasinated.
Today I turn 39. It is my last year in my thirties and I've got some work to do. I'm struck by the number of people close to my age in very powerful publishing jobs: Markus Dohle, chairman and CEO of Random House, 39; Brian Murray, HarperCollins CEO, 41; Jonathan Karp, editor-in-chief and publisher of Twelve, formerly editor-in-chief at Random House, 43; Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder, president, chairman and CEO, 44. I learned this week that Mussolini was 39 when he came into power in 1922. Others born in 1969: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Chastity Bono, "Diddy," Brett Favre, Tracey Gold, Ken Griffey, Jr., Dave Grohl, Ice Cube, Nancy Kerrigan, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Edward Norton, Matthew Perry, Christian Slater, Emmitt Smith, Gwen Stefani, Dweezil Zappa, Renée Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones (also born September 25, 1969).
Oh, by the way, my favorite day of the year is the 4th of July. Great weather. Watermelon. Family and friends. No gifts. No pressure. Freedom. Fireworks. God bless America.