“Leo Burnett liked Bill,” says John Ayers. “He called my dad and said, ‘Tom, your son is unbelievable. He could be the greatest ad man who ever lived.’ We all believed Bill would be great at whatever he did. Even at the height of Bill’s protest days, I used to joke to my dad, ‘Hey, don’t take it bad, he rose to the top of his field.'”

Now that Bill Ayers is again the most important issue facing our society, it’s a good time to read Ben Joravsky’s amazing, 11,000-word profile from 1990, when Ayers had just risen to prominence in Chicago political circles.