We all learned of the passing of Mirror owner and publisher Michael Rosenthal late this past Wednesday morning, the day this paper goes to press. While it would be impossible to write anything about Mike that wasn’t positive and that didn’t reinforce that he was a mensch and a distinguished citizen of Santa Monica, time prevents us from being as complete here as we would like and more will certainly follow. But Mike would want us to meet our time lines.
Mike was the original “What you see is what you get” person, and if anything he could be a too little honest. About ten seconds after meeting him, you knew that he cared about the future of Santa Monica and that he was sincerely interested in what you were about. I think that’s why he sustained warm friendships with business leaders and politicians of all stripes. It’s definitely why he was the perfect dude to own and run a small newspaper with big newspaper aspirations.
Here’s a memory of Mike that gets to a lot of who he was: He had me meet him at the beach for some sort of dedication event. Local politicians were there, LA Mayor Villaraigosa was there… a typical beautiful Saturday morning at the beach and Mike was in prime form. He pursued shaking hands and talking with every single person that he could as though the doing of it was providing a kind of nourishment. He pulled everybody into that warm human circle of his which I was blessed to stand in on that particular day. Michael Rosenthal was successful at business, publishing a newspaper, and being a great father and husband because he always had that circle up and running.