Sunday, April 28, 2013

A friends's diligent search

Whose life is "worthy" of a newspaper obituary?  Standards vary all over the place, of course, with papers such as the New York Times explicitly reserving that distinction for people of significant accomplishment.

By that definition alone, Roy Harris a former Wall Street Journal repoter and CFO magazine editor, figured his friend, artist Martyl Langsdorf, deserved more recognition than she got upon her death at 96. Langsdorf's "Doomsday clock" cover illustration for the June 1947 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , the minute hand approaching midnight, became a symbol for the nuclear threat worldwide and, later, climate change.

But even as a seasoned journalist, Harris discovered that selling editors of the largest newspapers on the value of an obit subject is easier said than done.  Here is his interesting account of his ultimately successful struggle to gain some recognition for a singular life. 

1 comment:

Roy H. said...

I was impressed with the obit writers I encountered in this pursuit, and their willingness to balance various factors in making "the call." Thanks, Andrew.