Obits

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George B. Bookman

George B. Bookman wrote his first newspaper article when he was a teenager, a social column for a newspaper on the Jersey shore. That was in the 1920s. As the decades rolled by, Bookman expanded his horizons and kept writing. He covered Wall Street and World War II, he wrote about financial matters in Washington and flowers in the Bronx. He was a reporter, an editor, a broadcaster, a public information officer, a consultant, an author, and a man who interviewed world leaders throughout the Twentieth Century. Before the outbreak of World War II, he was a cub reporter for U.S. News (later to merge with World Report), then moved to The Washington Post, with the White House as one of his assignments. With war clouds gathering, he joined the Office of War Information and because he was fluent in French, was sent to Brazzaville, then the capital of French Equatorial Africa (now the Republic of the Congo). From there, he made radio broadcasts that were short-waved to North Africa and the south of France. He went on to report from Lebanon, then accompanied American troops through Italy. After the war, he worked for Time magazine and Fortune, became public relations chief of the New York Stock Exchange, broadcast a radio show for the New York Botanical Garden, and formed his own consultancy. He retired in 1999 at the age of 85, but remained active with the Silurians as well as other press clubs, including the Deadline Club, where he once served as president, and the Overseas Press Club.

On Jan. 24, George Baruch Bookman died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Seattle, where the native New Yorker had relocated a few years ago so he could be nearer to his family. He was 103. He was not only the oldest member of the Silurians, he was a decade older than the Silurians itself.

For a full profile of George B. Bookman, click here to see Myron Kandel’s article in the Silurian News of March 2013.

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William Borders

William Borders, who retired from The New York Times in 2006 after a 46-year career as a foreign correspondent and a senior editor, died on Feb. 28 at his home in Manhattan. He was 79. A graduate of Yale, Borders joined The Times in 1960 as a copy boy. His overseas stations included London, New Delhi, Montreal, and Lagos, Nigeria. He was also an editor on various desks, serving as deputy foreign editor, senior news editor, and editor of The Week in Review, a section since renamed Sunday Review. He once wrote that he thought the life of a foreign correspondent would be “a glamorous one.” Then he got his first assignment, to report on the famine in Biafra during the Nigerian civil war in 1970. After being captured by the Nigerian Army and held captive for two days without food or water, he wrote, his earlier image of the job seemed “very distant.”

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Larry Friedman

Larry Friedman, who wore many hats in journalism, government and public affairs with integrity and grace, died on April 21 following a lengthy illness. He was 86. Friedman was a longtime Silurian and served for many years as chair of the Contingency Fund Board of Trustees. He started his professional news career as a copy boy at The Associated Press in New York, working nights while attending Brooklyn College and then Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism during the day. He later worked as a reporter and editor for The AP in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Cleveland before returning to New York as daytime news editor. Friedman then joined Advertising Age as an associate editor, before moving to Time Inc., where he served in top public affairs posts for Life magazine and Sports Illustrated. After a stint as a senior press information officer at the United Nations, he became deputy press secretary for New York City Comptroller Harrison J. Goldin and then as a spokesman and speechwriter for Mario Cuomo when he was Lieutenant Governor of New York State. He subsequently joined Hill & Knowlton, where he was a vice president specializing in crisis communications and corporate public relations.

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Robert Grossman

Robert Grossman, a multi-talented artist whose illustrations and cartoons graced magazine covers, editorial pages, op-ed columns and long-form magazine and newspaper articles for half a century, died at home in Manhattan on March 15, apparently of heart failure. He was 78. His work, often satirizing politicians and pop culture icons, appeared more than 500 times on the covers of magazines ranging from Time and Newsweek to Rolling Stone and National Lampoon, on the editorial and commentary pages of The New York Times and other publications, and in children’s books and on record album covers. Perhaps his best-known illustration, however, was a poster for the 1980 movie comedy “Airplane!” It depicted a passenger liner tied in a knot. Grossman was also a painter, sculptor, filmmaker and author.

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Jared Lebow

Jared Lebow, whose journalism career took him from sportswriting duties at The Fort Lauderdale News in 1962 to the sports copy desk at The New York Times, died of an apparent heart attack at his home in New York on June 8. He was 76. A few years after joining the Fort Lauderdale newspaper, Lebow moved from Florida to New York when he was hired by Time Inc. to edit its FYI magazine. That was followed by editing jobs at Signature magazine and Look magazine, where he was assistant sports editor. He eventually found his way to The Times, leaving in 1979 to pursue a career in public relations.

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