Flanagan, (Richard) Dennis 1919-2005

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FLANAGAN, (Richard) Dennis 1919-2005

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born July 22, 1919, in New York, NY; died of prostate cancer January 14, 2005, in New York, NY. Editor and author. Flanagan was a longtime editor of the magazine Scientific American. Educated at the University of Michigan, he left the university in 1941 just one credit short of earning his bachelor's degree. Ineligible to serve in the U.S. military during World War II because he was hard of hearing, Flanagan instead got a job as an office boy at Life magazine. There he worked his way up the ranks to science editor before buying out the previous owners of Scientific American in 1947. Partnering with former fellow Life editor Gerard Piel, he recruited such famous scientists as Linus Pauling, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Albert Einstein to write for the periodical. Flanagan's editorial style, which made complicated articles understandable to lay readers, greatly broadened Scientific American's appeal. By the time he retired in 1984, when Piel bought out his stake in the magazine, Flanagan had helped increase Scientific American's circulation from 40,000 subscribers to over 600,000. Elected to the American Society of Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame in 1999, he was the author of Flanagan's Version: A Spectator's Guide to Science on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century (1988).



Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2005, p. B8.

New York Times, January 17, 2005, p. A18.

Times (London, England), January 21, 2005, p. 73.

Washington Post, January 20, 2005, p. B7.