Meet Greg Packer, the most quoted man in media

Greg Packer, of Huntington N.Y., right, holds his place as first in line since Tuesday at 7 a.m. for the release of Apple's iPad on April 2, 2010 at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Credit: Getty Images
Greg Packer, of Huntington N.Y., right, holds his place as first in line since Tuesday at 7 a.m. for the release of Apple’s iPad on April 2, 2010, at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Credit: Getty Images

Former maintenance worker Greg Packer has been quoted more than 1,000 times in media reports, at everything from iPhone launches to Whitney Houston’s funeral. He has met four presidents and three popes, and became so pervasive that the Associated Press sent a memo to reporters to stop quoting him, which he considers one of his main achievements.

Following a film Greg made, Metro became the latest publication to feature him.

Metro: What’s the appeal of being quoted so many times?

Packer: It’s a combination of the event, the news event around it, and being out and about in different, exciting places.

How do so many of your quotes make it into reports?

There’s no guarantee and I’m shocked how often it happens. I think it’s a combination of enthusiasm, truth and giving reporters a chance to present their story.

What is the best story you have been in (apart from this one)?

The iPhone queue was one of my favorites because it’s such a popular event. Another was in 1996 when I was second in line for World Series tickets.

Have you ever wanted to work in media?

Yes, it crossed my mind but I never pursued it.

Does anyone else do what you do?

I haven’t come across any but it wouldn’t shock me if I had imitators.

What newspaper or TV show would you most like to appear on?

I would love to appear on Letterman or the BBC in London. I’ll just keep getting out there and maybe I’ll get the call, just like you called me!


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