Mel Laytner was a reporter and editor of hard news for nearly 20 years, much of it as a foreign correspondent for NBC News and United Press International covering the Middle East.
As a reporter with UPI, he covered all manner of urban mayhem in New York City, his hometown. After a stint as a one-person bureau chief, he moved to the General and Cables (foreign) Desks and became the “slot man” editor on both, responsible for selecting and editng the day’s top stories for UPI’s 400 afternoon newspaper clients.
His first foreign assignment was London. A year later, UPI moved him to Tel Aviv and shortly after that, he was named Jerusalem Correspondent. NBC News recruited Mel as its Middle East Radio Correspondent.
After eight grinding years overseas, Mel was awarded a prestigious Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Business and Economic Journalism, which included a year’s residency at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business. Mel holds Master’s degrees from both the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.
He lives in New York City with his wife, an artist and teacher, and is the father of three daughters.
Press and Media Mentions
- Kirkus Reviews... A scrupulously researched and dramatic remembrance… the author presents his findings with a remarkable blend of meticulousness and unabashed emotion, movingly communicating what he experienced during the process
- Diane Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review... A memoir and history like no other Holocaust story…Its eye-opening impact makes What They Didn't Burn unparalleled, powerful, and essential reading. that will ideally prompt debates and group studies about Holocaust survivors and Nazi experiences.
- Asher Syed for Readers Favorite...Tightly written and compelling on every page, the progression of Dolek’s “luck” proves to be a terrifying endurance test. This is most certainly not luck. It is the grit and rapid intelligence of a man who can read a situation quickly to maximize the odds of survival. Very highly recommended.
- Mort Laitner, Times of Israel... A master writer who paints pictures in your head that make you think you’re in the ghetto, in the camp and on the death march standing next to his father. A writer who paints masterpieces in your mind that cause your lacrimal glands to secret tears and make you realize it’s time to visit the graves of your parents.
- "From a Number to a Name," Tablet Magazine article
- "Did a Supposed Nazi Document Fool the Experts?" Tablet Magazine