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Behr, former BusinessWeek and NY Times staffer, dies at 84

July 1, 2024

Posted by Chris Roush

Soma Golden Behr

Soma Golden Behr, who worked at BusinessWeek as chief economics correspondent and then the business desk of the New York Times, died Sunday at the age of 84.

Trip Gabriel of the Times reports, “Hired by The Times as an economics reporter in 1973 after 11 years at Business Week, Ms. Golden Behr was often one of the few women, or the only woman, at the table. She was the first to lead the national desk, appointed in 1987, and after a promotion to assistant managing editor in 1993, she was only the second woman from the newsroom to appear on the masthead.

“‘At five feet, 10-and-a-half inches tall, her presence could fill just about any room, and she rarely had to worry about men talking over her, which gave her an advantage over many women at The Times,’ Adam Nagourney wrote in ‘The Times,’ a 2023 book on the contemporary history of the paper.

“Mr. Nagourney described her as ‘cerebral, contemplative and explosive, all at once,’ and quoted her in an interview: ‘I’m a word salad; I explode a lot.’

Jonathan Landman, a former deputy managing editor of The Times, whom Ms. Golden Behr plucked from the copy desk to edit national correspondents, said her style was markedly different from other desk heads.”

Read more here.

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