Abel, Elie 1920-2004

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ABEL, Elie 1920-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born October 17, 1920, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; died of pneumonia July 22, 2004 (some sources say July 23), in Rockville, MD. Journalist, educator, and author. Abel was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former dean of the Columbia School of Journalism. Completing undergraduate work at McGill University in 1941 and earning a master's degree the next year at Columbia University, he was drafted into the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, where he was a radar officer and got some of his first reporting experience as a combat correspondent. After the war, Abel worked briefly for the Montreal Gazette before returning to Europe as a foreign correspondent covering the Nuremburg trials in Germany for the North American Newspaper Alliance. He then worked as a United Nations correspondent in New York City for the Overseas News Agency before joining the New York Times as a reporter stationed in Detroit, Washington, D.C., and then Europe and India through the 1950s. Two years at the Detroit News as a Washington, D.C., bureau chief were followed by several years with the National Broadcasting Company. Abel worked for NBC through the 1960s and was chief of the London bureau for a year and diplomatic correspondent back in Washington, D.C., from 1967 to 1969. By this time, Abel was ready to curtail his extensive traveling a bit, and he accepted a position as a journalism professor and dean of the graduate school of journalism at Columbia University, a post he served in from 1969 to 1979. While dean, Abel established what is now the Knight-Bagheot fellowship, a program in business and economics reporting, and he was the first dean at Columbia to give a female professor a tenured position. Abel left Columbia for Stanford University in 1979, retiring in 1991. He published several books during his career, as writer, coauthor, or editor, including The Missile Crisis (1966), Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin (1975), Leaking: Who Does It? Who Benefits? At What Cost? (1987), and The Shattered Bloc: Behind the Upheaval in Eastern Europe (1990). Abel was honored several times for his journalism achievements, including sharing the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting while he was with NBC, and recieving the 1968 Peabody Award for radio news. Other awards included Overseas Press Club awards in 1969 and 1970, the 1984 First Amendment Defender Award from the Columbus School of Law, and the 1997 Grand Prize for Freedom from the Inter-American Press Association.



Chicago Tribune, July 26, 2004, section 2, p. 12.

New York Times, July 24, 2004, p. A12.

San Francisco Chronicle, July 24, 2004, p. B7.

Washington Post, July 24, 2004, p. B5.


Editor & Publisher Online, http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/ (July 23, 2004).