I am 61, and can't remember back that far. I do remember reading Chip Hilton sports stories. And I read every James Bond novel. My beefy English teacher ripped one paperback out of my hand and tore it half. Of course in school I read the usual stuff. Once I started taking writing seriously I became a big fan of Albert Camus, Franz Kafka and so on.
Just finishing college I had a job as an overnight supervisor at a school in Denver for teens with problems. I.E. they did drugs, were somewhat violent. We were given billy clubs to do our B.F. Skinner behaviorialist training on them. My colleague was the editor of the University of Colorado student newspaper, the Colorado Daily. I had been a debater in college and we really hit it off. He invited to become one of the paper's news editors.
So students were the first i wrote for. My writing ranged from an interview with Dr. Benjamin Spock, to movie reviews and a visit to relatively nearby Rocky Flats plutonium plant shortly after a major fire that could have destroyed Denver. I am sure they didn't let us seeing any really heavy, but just having been there still gives me chills. I was not impressed with their quality control.