William Langewiesche is one of America’s last star journalists, a relic from the golden age of the now-fading print industry. He grew up in Princeton, NJ, graduated from Stanford in 1977, and became a commercial pilot. He wrote occasionally for aviation magazines, but it wasn’t until 1991 (when he was 36) that he sent two unsolicited pieces to what was then the Atlantic Monthly. They rejected the pieces, but hired him as a national correspondent.

Since then, Langewiesche has reported on subjects as disparate as the Iraq War, winters in Napa Valley, and the recent U.S. Airways flight that forced to land in the Hudson River. He is regularly nominated for National Magazine awards, and has written books on, among other subjects, modern-day piracy and his travels across the Sahara.

Star journalists recall an earlier, more glamorous time and Langewiesche plays the part. In 2006 he left The Atlantic to become Vanity Fair’s international correspondent — possibly the most alluring job in journalism. He is debonair in just the way a pilot-turned-reporter ought to be. He still flies during his free time, which he splits between California and France, and smokes brown-paper cigarettes. He dresses in classic WASP style — in sharp but conservative, well-tailored garb. He’s almost always photographed in a crisp button-down, with the sleeves rolled up to show a large-faced Breitling watch.

Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.