About the author
Sam Waite worked in financial journalism for most of his career, including stocks editor at Bloomberg's Tokyo bureau and financial and economics editor at Nikkei. He also worked as a communications specialist at McKinsey & Co., Japan. His first exposure to Asia was in March 1967, Vietnam, courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps. After that tour was done, he was granted a request for a year's duty at USMC airbase Iwakuni, Japan. He began karate training in high school. His interest in martial arts led to his permanent move to the East, where he has also studied tai chi and aikido.
In the U.S. he reported for Murdoch's San Antonio Express News during its battle for survival against the Hearst's Light. From there he became editor in chief of the Laredo Morning News, which conducted a campaign that sent the mayor, at the time one of the richest men in Texas, to jail. CBS later aired a special thirty-minute broadcast on the story.
He has a bachelor of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, with a concentration in Asian studies focused on political science and history. He also earned an MBA in international trade from Texas A&M International. He speaks Japanese at professional level and has basic conversation skill in Spanish and Mandarin. After finishing graduate school, he met with CIA recruiter F. Alvarez, Jr., who said he had been a recon Marine in Vietnam. Sam next took a written test (passed), went to an interview with two agents at a hotel in Austin (passed). From there a week in Washington, D.C. for a battery of tests: physical, general knowledge and psychological. He was rejected on the basis of psychological evaluation. He would have liked to think it was because he was too nice to lure a person into committing treason against his own country and spy for the U.S. It wasn't that at all. At the exit interview, he was told he was too cynical. (Spy masters should implicitly trust their higher-ups.) What was left then but a career in journalism where cynics thrive because they question everything with the very uncynical conviction that they can make a difference.