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Big Thoughts are Free

The Authorized Biography of Milan Panic

Mark Axelrod

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Chapter 1. A Day in the Life of Milan Panić


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To get an immediate appreciation for the character of Milan Panić, it might do well to take a day in his life as a kind of point of departure. To do that, I thought a trip I took with him and others to Avalon on his yacht, Bellissima, would be a good place to begin to give one a sense of who Milan Panić is, especially outside the office, and his approach to life.

On the particular day in question, Panić awoke between 6:30–7:00 a.m., after which he rode his normal 30 minutes on the stationary bike, an exercise that had its beginnings when he was a youth in Belgrade, and had contributed to his athletic excellence and been a part of his life ever since. Afterwards, he showered and came downstairs with his son, 12-year-old Milan Jr., and the two of them had breakfast together, though his was “light.” As he told me, “I totally changed from eating a very heavy European breakfast to having a very light breakfast. I have coffee for breakfast, a Diet Coke, vitamins, and, sometimes, a little Cheerios, the ones for the heart.” One may argue about the relative healthfulness of his breakfast, but one cannot argue about his fitness, which, as I was to discover, is better than a lot of men 30 years his junior. Breakfast over, he and Milan Jr....

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