Peter B. Sinclair: The Miami Herald staffer we never met

06/04/2013 7:12 PM

06/07/2013 1:16 PM

A phantom has been haunting the Miami Herald during its entire time at One Herald Plaza. His name is Pete Sinclair — or more properly Peter B. Sinclair, although nobody knows what the B stands for.

Back before computers, any time somebody thought of a clever comment, usually critical of management, it would wind up on the bulletin board — signed by Pete Sinclair.

To this day, when newsroom staff members retire or leave for another job they are presented with a newspaper page with satirical articles about themselves – all written by Peter B. Sinclair.

At one time, when an editor wanted to use a picture taken by a Herald photographer but wasn’t sure who, the credit line would read, “Herald Staff Photo by Pete Sinclair.” (Management eventually put a stop to that.)

One time the Herald’s Keys bureau chief spotted the name Pete Sinclair on a list of people arrested by Key West police.

Fearing it might be a colleague, he rushed to the jail and managed to get an interview with the prisoner.

It turned out to be a stranger who admitted that he had once met a Herald reporter at a bar, heard about Pete and decided to use the name the next time he got arrested.

So where did Pete come from? It’s unclear, although one version is that the name was inspired by an eating or drinking establishment called Sinclair’s that was near the Herald’s previous home on South Miami Avenue.

Surely, Pete Sinclair’s career hasn’t ended with the closing of One Herald Plaza.

So welcome, old friend, to your new home.

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