Gart, Murray Joseph 1924-2004

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GART, Murray Joseph 1924-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born November 9, 1924, in Boston, MA; died of complications from heart surgery, March 31, 2004, in Michellville, MD. Journalist, editor, and author. A longtime correspondent for Time magazine and editor with Time-Life, Gart was remembered as the last editor to head the now-defunct Washington Star. After serving with the U.S. Army during World War II, he completed his undergraduate work at Northeastern University in 1949. Though his major had been economics, he started a career in journalism as a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 1949. The early 1950s saw Gart working as a reporter and editor for small papers in Kansas and New Jersey, but these posts led to a job as the Toronto bureau chief for the Time-Life News Service in 1955. Gart would remain with Time-Life for the rest of his career, working in various positions in Boston, Chicago, and London during the early 1960s and reporting on events in Asia and the Middle East; in the late-1960s, he was assistant managing editor for Forbes magazine, becoming chief of the Time-Life office in New York City in 1969 and assistant managing editor of Time magazine in 1972. When Time-Life purchased the Washington Star newspaper, Gart was named its editor in 1978. The paper, which had once been one of the prominent newspapers in the country, had fallen into financial problems, however, because of competition from the Washington Post and from television news programs. While his reporters praised Gart, some of his staff complained about the editor's management style. While many felt that Gart helped improve the quality of the writing in the Washington Star, he was unable to turn the newspaper's finances around, and it folded in 1981. After this, Gart worked as an associate for the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins from 1982 to 1984 and remained a consultant to Time-Life until 1989. Even upon retiring, however, Gart was active in several organizations, including working as director of the Middle East Institute in 1988, and of American Near East Refugee Aid in 1993, and serving on the board of directors for Geopolitics of Energy from 1985 to 1994 and for the Washington Institute on Foreign Affairs. A former editor of Cosmos Journal, he was a member of the Cosmos Club, where he helped to promote international forums. For this work, the club awarded him a distinguished service award in 2003.



Chicago Tribune, April 2, 2004, Section 3, p. 11.

New York Times, April 3, 2004, p. A25.

Washington Post, April 3, 2004, p. B7.