Welles, top business journalist, dies
Chris Welles, who ran the business journalism program at Columbia University and was also a top business journalist for publications such as BusinessWeek, died Saturday after an extended illness.
Floyd Norris of the New York Times writes, “Chris ran the Bagehot program (now the Knight-Bagehot program) at Columbia University for many years. That program offers midcareer journalists a chance to spend a year studying at Columbia. Some, as I did, stay on to complete an M.B.A.
“Chris was less than overwhelmed when I applied for a spot as a fellow in 1981-’82, when I was a business writer at The Associated Press. He put me on a waiting list, to be considered if a better applicant decided not to attend. One did so, and that proved to be the turning point of my career and life. Chris taught me a lot about journalism and business, both while I was at Columbia and later on as a good friend.”
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Chris was one of my editors at BusinessWeek in 1993 and 1994, and I considered it a privilege to work for the man. He taught me so much about Wall Street and finance in a short time. A senior editor at the publication, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 1997.
From 1977 to 1985, he served as director of the Bagehot Fellowship Program at Columbia University and as a professor of journalism. In the process, he helped train many of today’s leading business journalists.
At BusinessWeek from 1986 to 1999, he was an in-house teacher of journalism excellence.
Welles enjoyed a diverse career in business journalism, serving as business editor of the Saturday Evening Post, a contributing editor to Institutional Investor, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and as an editor and writer for Business Week. His awards included the Gerald Loeb, John Hancock, National Magazine Award and the University of Missouri business-writing award.
His book “The Last Days of the Club,” is a business journalism classic on the impact of the end of fixed commissions in 1975 on the New York Stock Exchange.