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OBITUARIES / Passings / Sylvan Fox

'Rewrite man' was awarded a Pulitzer

December 24, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Sylvan Fox, 79, the former editorial page editor at Newsday who earlier in his career was the first "rewrite man" to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, died Saturday of complications from pneumonia, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Fox was awarded the Pulitzer for his rewrite work on the March 1, 1962, coverage of an airline crash in Long Island that killed all 95 passengers. Working for the now defunct newspaper, The New York World-Telegram & The Sun, Fox calmly put together notes phoned in to him from reporters at the scene of the accident and, according to the Times, delivered an article within a half-hour of the incident. Adding new details as they became available, he rewrote the article for seven editions of the paper. Fox and two other colleagues were awarded the prize in the category "local, story, edition time." That category no longer exists.

From 1979 to 1988 he was the editorial page editor at Newsday. He also worked at the New York Times from 1967 to 1973, including a stint as the paper's Saigon bureau chief.

Fox was a classically trained pianist raised in Brooklyn. He studied at the Juilliard School before earning a degree in philosophy from Brooklyn College. He earned a master's degree in musicology from UC Berkeley.

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