Best 31-Year-Old Feature Story

Terence Sheridan's Piece on Dennis Kucinich in the Inaugural Issue of Cleveland Magazine

Cleveland magazine made its debut in April 1972 -- and has gone downhill ever since. The fledgling glossy made an all-too-perfect entrance, choosing as its first cover subject a 26-year-old city councilman. Writer Terry Sheridan began his profile this way: "On November 5, 1969, a lapsed poet, precocious Dennis Kucinich, his face alight with lambent ambition, quietly launched his campaign for the Presidency of the United States."

Decades later, lambent ambition finally went public.

Sheridan's profile has proved an invaluable source document as the K Man vies for the presidency. The Dennis we've come to love and loathe these many years is here, in infant form. Sheridan captured the kid version's dexterity and cruelty, his admirable determination and regrettable opportunism. (The ultraliberal Kucinich has had to deny pretty undeniable evidence that, in his youth, he exploited racial tensions for political gain.)

After stints at The Plain Dealer and as a private investigator, Sheridan left for Europe. Today, he writes free-lance from Belgrade. Reached via e-mail, Sheridan says he remains fascinated by Cleveland. "George Steinbrenner, Don King, Dennis Kucinich. What other city can muster such a trinity?"