A. M. Rosenthal

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A. M. Rosenthal, "a Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent who became the executive editor of The New York Times and led the paper's global news operations through 17 years of record growth, modernization and major journalistic change, died [in 2006] in Manhattan. He was 84...

"As a reporter and correspondent for 19 years, he covered New York City, the United Nations, India, Poland, Japan and other regions of the world, winning acclaim for his prolific, stylish writing and a Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer was for international reporting in 1960, for what the Communist regime in Poland, which had expelled him the previous year, called probing too deeply.

"Then, returning to New York in 1963, he became an editor. Over the next 23 years, he served successively as metropolitan editor, assistant managing editor, managing editor and executive editor, enlarging his realms of authority by driving his staffs relentlessly, pursuing the news aggressively and outmaneuvering rivals for the executive suite.

"After being named managing editor in 1969, Mr. Rosenthal was briefly outranked by James B. Reston, the executive editor. But Mr. Reston soon accepted a vice presidency, Mr. Rosenthal assumed command of news operations, and the executive editorship was dropped until 1977, when Mr. Rosenthal took the title.

"At the helm of a staff of highly regarded editors and writers that included many young stars he had recruited, Mr. Rosenthal directed coverage of the major news stories of the era — the war in Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers, the Watergate scandal and successive crises in the Middle East...

"After 17 years as a principal architect of the modern New York Times, Mr. Rosenthal stepped down as the top editor in 1986 as he neared his job's mandatory retirement age of 65. Mr. Sulzberger said at the time that Mr. Rosenthal's "record of performance as executive editor of The Times will last as a monument to one of the titans of American journalism."

"He then began the last phase of his Times career, nearly 13 years as the author of a twice-weekly column, "On My Mind," for the Op-Ed page. His first column, on Jan. 6, 1987, and his last, on Nov. 5, 1999, carried the same headline, which he wrote: "Please Read This Column." [1]

Married to Shirley Lord.

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  1. A. M. Rosenthal, Editor of The Times, Dies at 84, New York Times, accessed November 15, 2008.