Rock ‘n’ roll royalty: Ben Fong-Torres reflects on his career

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Ben Fong-Torres has seen more stars than perhaps NASA.

The rock journalist became a star while covering some of the world’s most legendary singers and actors.

When he began his career more than five decades ago it was pretty obvious few people looked like him.

“I had no role models who were Asian Americans,” Fong-Torres said. “I had role models who for sure in show business, radio and television and writing, but nothing outside those folks and so, yeah, my dreams were kind of limited.”

Fong-Torres got his start as a reporter and editor while attending San Francisco State University. A few years later he would be a reporter for the legendary Rolling Stone Magazine, writing about singers that are soundtracks for many people’s lives.

Despite standing out, Fong Torres says he never faced any overt acts of racism while covering the stars and didn’t feel the weight of being a trailblazer on his shoulders. He let his presence and his writing do the talking for him.

“You don’t need reminders. you’re aware of yourself and so when you see a photograph of yourself or video or whatever,” Fong-Torres said. “You’re like, oh yeah. you stand out mentally for yourself and sometimes it’s for the positive.”

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