By Robert McG. Thomas
Among his dedicated fanatics, his items have been recognized easily as McGs. With a "genius for illuminating that usually ephemeral apogee in people's lives once they end up in a position to producing a brightly burning spark" (Columbia Journalism Review), Robert McG. Thomas Jr. honored interesting, unconventional lives with signature variety and wit.
The ny Times acquired numerous letters through the years from readers moved to tears or laughter by way of a McG. Eschewing usually recognized matters, Thomas preferred unsung heroes, eccentrics, and underachievers, together with: Edward Lowe, the inventor of Kitty muddle ("Cat Owner's most sensible Friend"); Angelo Zuccotti, the bouncer at El Morocco ("Artist of the Velvet Rope"); and Kay Halle, a glamorous Cleveland division shop heiress who got sixty-four marriage proposals ("An Intimate of Century's Giants"). in a single of his vintage obituaries, Thomas defined Anton Rosenberg as a "storied someday artist and low musician who...
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Extra info for 52 McGs.. The Best Obituaries from Legendary New York Times Reporter Robert McG. Thomas
K. Stout, Pioneering Judge in Pennsylvania, Is Dead at 79 Sidney Korshak, 88, Dies; Fabled Fixer for the Chicago Mob Francine Katzenbogen, 51; Gave Cats the Lap of Luxury Nguyen Ngoc Loan, 67, Dies; Executed viet Cong Prisoner Jack Biblo, Used Bookseller for Half a Century, Dies at 91 Kay Halle, 93, an Intimate of Century's Giants Hallie C. Stillwell, a Rancher and Texas Legend, Dies at 99 Marshall Berger, 77, Linguist with a Keen Ear For an Accent Philip O'Connor, 81, Acerbic Memoirist, Dies Toots Barger, 85, The Queen of Duckpins' Wobbly World Edgar Nollner, 94, Dies; Hero in Epidemic Marguerite Young, 87, Author and Icon, Dies Rev.
The death of Miss Daisy, as she was known, leaves only two known surviving widows of Civil War veterans, one each from the Union and Confederate armies. , whose husband fought for the South, joined Miss Daisy at a ceremony at Gettysburg last year. , is the widow of a Union soldier. No official records exist of the marital histories of former slaves, but the arithmetic suggesting that Miss Daisy may have been the last woman married to a man born into Southern bondage is compelling. , in 1922, Miss Daisy was 21, and her husband, Robert Anderson, was 79.
One doubts, however, that this grand obituarist would have made a good book-length biographer. Like Hal Lipset, the electronic eavesdropper, Thomas was a natural miniaturist. Full-blown biography would have required him to situate, evaluate and categorize—to take the long, chronological view when he was so much inclined to the shapely, enthusiastic burst. Besides, he probably never would have finished the book. A literary agent once approached him to do a life of Jack Kerouac, and “the way he reacted was typical,” recalls Bill Brink, now the Times ’s deputy sports editor.
52 McGs.. The Best Obituaries from Legendary New York Times Reporter Robert McG. Thomas by Robert McG. Thomas