NY Times’ Sulzberger Obit Criticized for Omitting his Jewish Heritage
In the many thousands of words written in The New York Times about its venerated longtime publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, who died on Sept. 29 at the age of 86, not a one mentioned his Jewish roots. Sulzberger’s paternal grandparents hailed from prominent Jewish families — one Ashkenazic, one Sephardic — and his father, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, was thought to be a practicing Jew, though historians contend that under his tenure as publisher, the Times deliberately ignored Jewish suffering at the hands of the Nazis.
On the other had, The Jewish Daily Forward commends the Los Angeles Times for mentioning Sulzberger’s religious background and observing that he was the first to promote Jewish people within the paper.
It took the Los Angeles Times to note, in its obituary, that Arthur Ochs Sulzberger broke “a long-standing family taboo against placing Jews in prominent positions when he promoted Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent A.M. Rosenthal to managing editor in 1969 and executive editor in 1977.” Not only that: Sulzberger promoted Max Frankel, a refugee from Nazi Germany, as Rosenthal’s successor, and Joseph Lelyveld, son of a prominent rabbi, to succeed Frankel.