Alan Levy, 72, founding editor in chief of the Prague Post, died Friday of cancer.
His weekly column, Prague Profile, commented on people who had an effect on the the Czech Republic -- from cultural and political leaders to colorful characters from all walks of life, both Czech and foreign.
During his career as a journalist, he interviewed former Czech President Vaclav Havel, Cuba's Fidel Castro, the Beatles, Sophia Loren, Ezra Pound, Vladimir Nabokov, Graham Greene and W.H. Auden.
In the first issue of the English language weekly on Oct. 1, 1991, he wrote, "We are living in the Left Bank of the '90s. For some of us, Prague is Second Chance City, for others a new frontier where anything goes, everything goes, and, often enough, nothing works. Yesterday is long gone, today is nebulous, and who knows about tomorrow, but, somewhere within each of us, we all know that we are living in a historic place at a historic time."
According to Mark Nessmith, managing editor of the Prague Post, who posted an obituary on the newspaper's website, www.praguepost. com, Friday, Levy first went to Prague as a journalist in 1967. He covered the Prague Spring, the 1968 reform movement. Later that year, he reported on the Warsaw Pact invasion.
He chronicled the events of 1968 in a book published in the U.S. in 1972 as "Rowboat to Prague" and republished in 1980 as "So Many Heroes." He also wrote "The Wiesenthal File," published in 1993, about acclaimed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
According to Nessmith, Czechoslovakia's communist authorities expelled Levy and his family in 1971, and they settled in Vienna, where he lived until returning to Prague in 1990. While in Austria, he worked as a correspondent for international publications, including the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times magazine and Cosmopolitan.
In 1991, he was hired by the owners of the Prague Post to help launch the newspaper. Levy served as editor in chief and columnist until his death.
"Alan loved Prague with all his heart and he loved the Prague Post," said Lisa L. Frankenberg, the newspaper's president and publisher.
Levy was born in New York City in 1932. He studied journalism at Brown and Columbia universities before working for the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal. He spent several years writing in New York before moving to Prague.
He is survived by his wife, Valerie; two daughters; and two granddaughters.