Tangs’ life, and in a way, the substance of the Class of 1957, changed inalterably when in the 1960s Tangs’ motor scooter hit a pothole in Greenwich Village. His head smashed into a parked car. He received last rites from Cardinal Spellman, once a student of his father. Tangs lived, however, until March 30, 2020, but only as a shadow of his former self. 

At Princeton, Tangs was bigger than life. As chairman of the Cannon Club entertainment committee, he went to Trenton and returned with two dancers for a party. Some considered him the best writer on the Prince, which then included R.W. Apple and Bob Caro. Senior year, he is said to have cut all his classes to attend to his Prince duties. For his thesis, he read four short Henry Fielding novels. He would have received a 1+ his thesis adviser said, had he turned in the thesis on time. Without a degree, he began his career covering state politics in Trenton for the Associated Press. He ended with CBS News, writing for Mike Wallace.  

Post-crash, and for the rest of his life, classmates took Bill under their protection. On occasion, he spread his cheer at Reunions. He died partly of dementia in an apartment in Naples, Fla., rented for him by the Classmate Fund. 

Undergraduate Class of 1957