"Elliott was born Oct. 25, 1924, into a prominent New York City family. His mother, Audrey Osborn Elliott, had been active in the women's suffrage movement early in the 20th century and later became a leading Manhattan real-estate broker. His father, John, was an investment counselor...
"After beginning his journalism career at the Journal of Commerce and at Time magazine, Elliott joined Newsweek in 1955 as senior editor in charge of business news. He was promoted to managing editor in 1959 and editor in 1961, when the magazine was bought by Washington Post Co...
"In 1976, New York Mayor Abraham Beame offered Elliott the newly created job of deputy mayor of economic development, in charge of reversing the city's alarming loss of jobs. He accepted, at an annual salary of just $1, and served for Beame's final 15 months in office...
"Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism named him dean in January 1978. During his eight-year tenure, he presided over debates among administrators and faculty over the future of journalism and the role of education.
"The Times reported in 1983 that the administration, led by Elliott, was pushing for more emphasis on journalism ethics and specialization in areas such as science or foreign affairs, while some faculty members were defending basic training in reporting, writing and broadcasting.
"After stepping down as dean in 1986, Elliott remained at Columbia as a journalism professor.
"In 1991, the U.S. Conference of Mayors endorsed Elliott's proposal for a march on Washington to protest against the federal government's ``indifference to the plight of cities. The May 16, 1992, ``Save Our Cities march drew 150,000 people, by a District of Columbia police estimate. Elliott insisted the crowd was twice that size...
"Elliott had three daughters with his first wife, Deirdre. That marriage ended in divorce. In 1973, he married Inger Abrahamsen McCabe, founder of a home-decorating concern, China Seas, and he became stepfather to her three children.
Survivors include three daughters, Diana Lidofsky, Cynthia Elliott and Dorinda Elliott; three stepchildren, Kari, Alec and Marit McCabe; two foster children, Pui and Bing Wong; 17 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
"Alec McCabe is an editor at Bloomberg News.
Resources and articles
- Osborn Elliott, Editor Who Transformed Newsweek, Dies, bloomberg, accessed May 10, 2010.