Tag Archives: Obituaries

Rannazzisi Julie

Remembering Julie Rannazzisi of Marketwatch


Jon Friedman, a former colleague, remembers Marketwatch’s Julie Rannazzisi, who died 10 years ago Thursday.

Friedman writes, “We worked together for four-and-a-half years at MarketWatch.com, the financial website, before she succumbed. She sat at the desk right across from mine. She was excellent company, cheerful, pragmatic and always willing to share in a bit of gallows humor.

“Really, though, Julie was our rock. Not only did she hold down the demanding job of following — by the minute, it sometimes seemed — the machinations of the ever-volatile stock market. She loved talking to her sources about the most (to me, the hotshot media writer on the scene) mind-numbing, data-driven minutiae. Julie loved to follow the market and she’d say sagely, ‘The stock market doesn’t lie.’ To her, there was something always reassuring about the market, which wasn’t swayed by human emotion or past performance or charisma or effort.

“I watched her disintegration in a harrowing way. It didn’t take long for her to need to take a leave of absence from work in 2002. We all worried about worst-case scenarios, of course. But when she returned, vigorous, to work in 2003, it seemed like a miracle. It was, quite simply, too good to be true.

“As it turned out, this was too good to be true. She had to leave the office for the safety of her apartment, in Turtle Bay. Of course, I, and the others, faithfully visited her. Knowing the truth all too well, we’d reassure that she would be back at work, tediously crunching numbers. We had often talked about our mutual love for a silly film called ‘Meet the Parents.’ The sequel, ‘Meet the Fokkers,’ was scheduled to come out in movie theaters and I told her that we’d go to see it again.”

Read more here.


WSJ seeks obituary writer


The Wall Street Journal seeks a curious reporter with an elegant pen and an appreciation of the human spirit to chronicle what Steve Jobs called “the single best invention of life:” death.

We are looking for an obituary writer. The ideal candidate understands how to capture the lives of CEOs and celebrities, investors and inventors, and luminaries from all fields with grand sweep, bright color and sharp detail. We seek to illuminate the people behind the resumes with lively anecdotes and smart context.

The writer will also be responsible for working with other parts of the Journal to help develop advance obituaries and finding lesser-known subjects for feature obituaries. Candidates must be able to write quickly and accurately on deadline for all platforms.

To apply, go here.

Alan Gersten

Business journalist Gersten has died


Alan Gersten, a longtime business journalist who had been working for Reuters for the past eight years, died March 17 from leukemia.

Gersten was also maritime editor of the Journal of Commerce and business editor of the Rocky Mountain News from 1979 to 1985. At Reuters, he was a Latin America correspondent.

It was at the News that Gersten won a Gerald Loeb Award, considered the Pulitzer Prizes of business journalism, for columns/editorials for an investment series called “Gambling with Someone Else’s Money.”

Gersten was also the author of “A Conspiracy of Indifference: The Raoul Wallenberg story.” As a Jew, Gersten knew about Wallenberg and his heroic deeds in wartime Hungary. In 1994, he met some lawyers involved in a law case related to Wallenberg. This was an effort to free the Hero of the Holocaust via the courts.

For Gersten, that started a seven-year quest to write a book about Wallenberg. This involved going through thousands of records in Washington, the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, trips to Chicago to talk to key participants in the narrative as well as telephone calls to Sweden and Switzerland.

Gersten went through the Knight-Bagehot program at Columbia University. He also had an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois.

“Alan will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him,” said Terri Thompson, who runs the Knight-Bagehot program at Columbia. “As a model business journalist, he mentored young reporters, and as an alumnus of the Knight-Bagehot Program, he contributed generously to the profession. Dedicated to his wife, Marjorie, he is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known.”

Computerworld Magazine - 27 February 2012

McGovern, founder of ComputerWorld, dies at 76


Patrick McGovern, who founded International Data Corp. in 1964 and pretty much gave birth to the IT press industry with the launch of Computerworld three years later, died on Wednesday, reports Barb Darrow of GigaOm.com

Darrow writes, “Many tech reporters and editors (including this one) got their start writing for an IDG publication — NetworkWorld, InfoWorld, PCWorld CIO, CSO and the IDG News Service followed ComputerWorld. The tally rose to 300 publications, 460 websites, and 700 events. McGovern saw huge opportunities abroad; in 1980 IDG was among the first U.S. companies to form a joint venture with a partner in the People’s Republic of China. That globalism is still evident, as IDG has a presence in 97 countries.

“McGovern also built an IT research powerhouse in International Data Corp.,  which now employs about 600 people. He also bucked the trend by not taking his company public — a controversial decision over the years.

“Current and former employers remember how McGovern used to personally deliver Christmas bonus checks to employees in all the U.S. offices. Somehow he managed to keep a personal touch even as the company moved to more spacious quarters in Framingham, adding offices in Silicon Valley, and San Francisco. “Uncle Pat” also was known for sending reporters postcards to compliment them on specific stories.”

Read more here.

Bruce Barnhart

St. Louis TV biz editor has died


Bruce Barnhart, who worked as the business editor and reporter for KSDK Channel 5 in St. Louis from 1987 to 2004, has died at the age of 54.

Mike Bush of KSDK writes, “For the better part of two decades, Barnhart was the financial advisor for the bi-state area, as NewsChannel 5′s Money Matters correspondent. He helped St. Louis viewers navigate through the often rough financial waters.

“After graduating from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism, he had a long career as a local financial advisor and broker.

“A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., he loved everything Michigan sports, but was also an avid Cardinals fan.

“He died, surrounded by his family, after a brave fight with cancer.”

Read more here.

Ed Lightsey

Lightsey, Georgia Trend reporter, dies at 69


Ed Lightsey, who wrote for the Georgia Trend business magazine for more than two decades, died Thursday at the age of 69.

Jim West of the Albany Herald writes, “For the past 22 years, Lightsey served as senior correspondent for ‘Georgia Trend’ magazine.

“‘Ed was a tremendous asset to ‘Georgia Trend’ magazine,’ said Neely Young, publisher of the statewide monthly business publication.

“‘He knew everybody in the state, and everybody loved him. Whereever I go, I mention his name and get a smile from the face of that person. He was a wonderful writer who won a lot of awards for ‘Georgia Trend.’ He was just a joy to work with and always had a great story to tell.’

“In addition to his frequent contributions to the magazine, Young said he considered Lightsey his ‘south Georgia publisher.’

“‘He would give speeches for me at events in that portion of the state if I had something else going on….He was a wonderful friend of Georgia.’”

Read more here.

Angelo Henderson

Why Angelo Henderson was so loved by his journalist colleagues


Angelo Henderson never met a stranger.

Who else could have skillfully juxtaposed a journalism career writing about the heads of Fortune 500 companies as well as America’s common man and the forgotten underclass?

His Rolodex and his street cred were the envy of many journalists. So was his writing style.

The veteran print and broadcast journalist died Feb. 15 at his home in Pontiac, Mich. He was 51.

When his name is included in the annals of American journalism – and it will be – there’ll be mention of his Pulitizer Prize, his vaulted and rarified seat at that exclusive table reserved for journalism giants. His raw,unvarnished account of a pharmacist’s self-defense shooting of a would-be robber masterfully told the story of both men’s lives. It clinched the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing while he worked at The Wall Street Journal.

But those who got the chance to work with Henderson, to hang out with him, to just be around him say he’ll be remembered most as the people’s journalist. (His gift for being able to make an intimate connection with people would later served him well as a radio show host and minister.)

“The minute Angelo hit the newsroom, you would have thought readers knew when exactly he came into the newsroom. They would start calling. The phone would be ringing off the hook,” recalled Oralandar Brand-Williams, courts reporter for The Detroit News who had known Henderson for 25 years. They worked together as reporters at The News and in the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

During his days as a reporter, he was not only welcomed into the inner-sanctum of corporate America (he covered Chrysler for The Wall Street Journal among other high-profile beats) but he was given unfettered access to the very pulse of Detroit itself: its people and their thoughts.

“You can’t fake liking people,” said Kim Trent, a communications consultant in Detroit who worked with Angelo during his 30-year career and was a longtime friend. “When you really love people, it shines through. The reason he had this Rolodex everybody envied is because people really liked him and he really liked people. People trusted him. He had incredible integrity about how he approached a story.”

Part of it was his unique way of making people feel that – for the time he was with you, you were the only one who mattered. Nowhere was that more evident than on social media, where many people went to mourn as news of his death spread.

His “Friends of Angelo B. Henderson” Facebook page boasts more than 2,200 followers or, as Henderson called them, “FB cuzins.” Everyone was family The page is a place for people to share what’s on their mind. As was his three-times-a-week radio show.

“He just had a way about him that will never be seen again,’ one follower Stacey M. Skipp posted Tuesday, three days after his death. “His love for his fellow man was always at the forefront. Heaven has indeed gained a precious jewel.”

“He had the human touch,” Brand-Williams said. “He could talk to anybody on any level, people from diverse backgrounds. For people who aren’t perhaps used to dealing with reporters or the media, he put them at ease. He was a very, very smart hard-nosed reporter who knew how to spot a good story.”

And good socioeconomic trends – often in places no one else would think to look.

He wrote a Page One story for the Wall Street Journal about the hip, high-tech and haute couture nature wheelchairs were adapting after noticing a lot of young black men in the mall riding in souped-up wheelchairs. It was that street-level, beyond-the-Rolodex eye for reporting that set him a part from the rest of the industry which tends to run with the herd.

Among his peers and in the industry, he was the go-to guy.

Not long after winning his Pulitzer, he was asked to speak at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for instance. He booked his calendar and made the trip. In addition to professional groups, he spoke to church groups and schools. He rarely said no.

When the Detroit NABJ, hoping to raise money for its scholarship fund, asked if he’d be willing to be “roasted” – ribbed and teased – he good-naturedly obliged.

“Even after all the accolades he attained – the highest and most prestigious prize in print journalism which was the Pulitzer Prize, he was still down-to-earth, community-minded and willing to help people,” Brand-Williams said. “He was very gregarious, kind and upliftng and a fun person to be around.”

Now one of Detroit’s most vibrant voices is silent.

Henderson is survived by his wife, Felecia Dixon Henderson, an assistant managing editor at The Detroit News and his 20-year-old son, Grant, a student at The University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Tammy Joyner is a reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper in Atlanta, Ga. She worked with Henderson at The Detroit News where they were business reporters and wrote a column together called “Equal Access.”

Angelo Henderson

Remembering Angelo Henderson


Matthew Dolan of The Wall Street Journal writes about journalist Angelo Henderson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for the Journal in 1999 and who died this weekend at the age of 51.

Dolan writes, “Other stories with his byline delved into the world of styling contests for African-American hair and the tricked-out wheelchairs used by disabled basketball players in the inner city.

Paul Steiger, the Journal’s former top editor who founded the investigative website ProPublica, called Mr. Henderson’s nearly 3,500-word front page, prizewinning story among the most dramatic the paper ever published.

“‘It provides a harrowing, yet empathetic, look at an attempted drugstore stickup that ended in death—the kind of crime that usually fades from public consciousness after a brief blur of publicity,’ Mr. Steiger wrote in his Pulitzer Prize nomination letter for Mr. Henderson.

“Mr. Henderson’s boss in Detroit remembered the young reporter coming to him one January day to tell him about a small story he had heard about involving a Detroit shooting. ‘I said, ‘What shooting? It is Detroit, there are a lot of shootings,’ said Bob Simison, the Journal’s former Detroit bureau chief.

“But Mr. Henderson was convinced it could be a compelling story for the Journal if he were able to describe what it was actually like for a store owner to shoot a man to death to save the life of himself and his store clerk. In the story, Mr. Henderson was able to convince the reluctant druggist to tell his story. He also spent months tracking down the assailant’s family in Chicago, providing an intimate look at the lingering impact of crime and violence on both sides.”

Read more here.

Angelo Henderson

Angelo Henderson, Pulitzer winner for WSJ, dies at 51


Angelo Henderson, a journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize while working for The Wall Street Journal in 1999, has died.

Max White of WXYZ in Detroit reports, “He was also a two-term Parliamentarian and two-term chapter President for the  National Association of Black Journalists.

“He was also a founding member in the Detroit 300, who’s focus is to help  communities organize and eradicate crime by policing targeted areas and pursuing  individuals committing crimes. Henderson, along with Raphael B. Johnson and  Malik Shabazz created the group out of the Detroit community’s frustration with  perpetual neighborhood crimes.

“In 1999, Henderson, working as deputy Detroit bureau chief of The Wall Street  Journal, was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished feature writing. He  wrote a narrative detailing the lives affected by an attempted drugstore  robbery. He was the 22nd African American to win the Pulitzer Prize.

“One year later he was honored by Columbia University as one of the nation’s  best reporters on race and ethnicity in America.

Read more here.

John DeMott

DeMott, former Time biz writer, dies at 76


John S. DeMott, a former business journalist for Institutional Investor, Newsweek and Time, died in January at the age of 76.

Samantha Raphelson of The Washington Post writes, “Mr. DeMott wrote for Institutional Investor and Newsweek before covering the economy and business for Time starting in the mid-1970s.

“He moved to Washington in 1987 and briefly was press secretary for Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) before returning to journalism. He held a succession of jobs before traveling around the country in 2006 and doing editing work for newspapers along the way.

“John Stuart DeMott was a native of Mount Clemens, Mich., and a 1959 graduate of the University of Michigan. He received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University in 1961.

“Mr. DeMott, a Silver Spring resident, was a member of the National Press Club.”

Read more here.