Journalist Pete Hamill, who covered presidents and wars, ran newspapers and wrote 16 books, is doing something new: receiving a high school diploma.

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The 75-year-old newsman left New York's Regis High School at age 15 to work in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and never looked back, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

On Saturday he'll receive a diploma, a recognition that began with a conversation during a St. Patrick's Day conversation about possibly honoring Hamill with an honorary degree from Fordham University, Jim Buggy, development director at Regis, recalled.

Buggy told the Daily News Hamill said, "What I really want is my diploma from Regis."

They presented the idea and Father Philip Judge, the president of Regis,"gave his blessing, if you'll pardon the pun," Buggy said.

"One of the best days of my life was when I got my first press pass," Hamill said. "To be a newspaperman is the best education. You go out and talk to some of the most brilliant people in the world."

Hamill was in Los Angeles with Robert F. Kennedy when he was assassinated, he was the last person to interview rock great John Lennon, and he covered wars from Vietnam to Northern Ireland.

Hamill told the Daily News he has yet to indulge in reality TV.

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"Why should we care about Kate Gosselin?" he asked of the reality mom of eight children.