Markel, Lester

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MARKEL, LESTER (1894–1977), U.S. journalist who was responsible for changing the nature of the Sunday newspaper. Born in New York City and trained at Columbia University's School of Journalism, Markel was from 1923 to 1964 Sunday editor of the New York Times. It was he who conceived the idea of separate Sunday sections, which would bring the reader the news in greater depth than was possible in daily papers. He was personally responsible for the Times Magazine, the "Book Review," and the "Arts and Leisure" section. In 1935 he instituted the "News of the Week in Review," a report in perspective of the week's events, which won Markel and the New York Times a Pulitzer Prize. Markel wrote and lectured widely. In 1951, he founded the International Press Institute to foster the free flow of information and freedom of the press in general. In 1964, he became associate editor of the New York Times and head of its department of public affairs. He also started a television series in which he and others discussed the news in depth.

[Stewart Kampel]