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Almost Wasn’t Born

Charles McCarry can claim a varied career. In addition to being the author of The Tears of Autumn and The Last Supper, he served as assistant to the Secretary of Labor in the Eisenhower cabinet and has done two stints in the CIA. But he almost wasn’t born.

Says McCarry, “My mother became pregnant with me at the age of 39. She had nearly died while giving birth to my only sibling. Her doctor, who believed the second pregnancy was a serious threat to her life, advised an abortion. The advice made sense, but my mother refused to accept it. Just before she died at age 97, I asked her why. She replied, “I wanted to see who you were going to turn out to be.”

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, quoted in Feb. 1990, Reader’s Digest.