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.
Maurice “Mickey” Carroll
Maurice “Mickey” Carroll, who as a reporter for some 40 years filtered the gas and gobbledygook emanating from the mouths of politicians into crystal-clear prose that spoke straight talk to his readers, died on Dec. 6 of colon cancer. He was 86. Widely admired by his peers, he was presented with the Silurians’ Peter Kihss Award in 2009. Even the people he covered appreciated his acerbic wit and political savvy. On the night the Kihss Award was presented, former New York governor Mario Cuomo was also at the National Arts Club, on other business. When he heard that Mickey Carroll was being honored in the next room, he insisted on dropping by to shake his hand.
In 1995, following a journalism career that took him to at least eight newspapers, Carroll became the public face of the opinion poll produced by Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. As the prime spokesman for its New York and New Jersey polls, he played a key role in establishing Quinnipiac as one of the best-known pollsters in the nation. He did it by doing what he did as a reporter: Just as he could cut through the fog of political blather to tell you what was really being said — or not said — he could translate raw polling data into easily digestible and informative nuggets of news.
Carroll was born in Rutherford, N.J., and fittingly enough, his journalism career started in New Jersey, where he worked for The Passaic Herald News, The Jersey Journal and The Star Ledger of Newark. He eventually crossed the river and over the years his byline appeared in The New York Times, The Herald Tribune, The Journal American, The New York Post and New York Newsday. He specialized in covering government and politics, but one of his more memorable assignments came on Nov. 22, 1963, when The Tribune sent him to Dallas to help report on the aftermath of the John F. Kennedy assassination. Two days later, he sent The Tribune an eye-witness account of the fatal shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, the president’s accused killer, by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police headquarters. Carroll later wrote that his voice was one of the last ever heard by Oswald as he shouted out a question: “How about it, Lee?” He never got an answer.
Rita Henley Jensen
Rita Henley Jensen, who founded Women’s eNews, an independent news service she launched in 2000, died at home in New York on Oct. 18. She was 70. A former senior writer for the National Law Journal and columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, Jensen guided Women’s eNews to almost 50 journalism awards, including the PASS Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the Rosa Cisneros Award from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region. She also was cited by The New York Daily News as one of the 100 most influential women in New York and, most recently, was named the 2016 Iconic Thought Leader for the Decade in Media by the Women Economic Forum, based in India. Jensen stepped down as editor-in-chief of Women’s eNews in May 2016, when she was accepted as a research associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, where she explored racial and gender inequities through her research project, “Jane Crow.” Her other awards include the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Award; the Hunter College Presidential Grant for Innovative Uses of Technology; an Alicia Patterson fellowship; and the Lloyd P. Burns Public Service prize.