Gil Schwartz, the longtime media executive who for two decades wrote columns for Fortune under the pen name “Stanley Bing,” died on Saturday. He was 68.
Andrew Nusca of Fortune writes, “For 13 years, the New York City native secretly and successfully skewered office life in the pages of Esquire magazine under the byline ‘Stanley Bing.’ (The name of his column? ‘Executive Summary.’) The cigar-chomping, silhouetted Bing took his snarky talents to Fortune in 1995, where he took over the magazine’s final page for a new column called “While You Were Out.’
“Less than a year into his Fortune assignment, a New York Times exposé rocked corporate corridors nationwide: Schwartz was Bing. As Schwartz’s former editor David Blum told the newspaper at that time: ‘It’s pretty much unheard of for the top P.R. guy at a major American corporation to write a humor column.’
“‘Nobody but my editors had a clue who I was,’ Schwartz recalled in a Times essay published in 2018. ‘I was Zorro, Clark Kent, putting one over on Perry White. But with this cool little secret came the fear—debilitating, crushing, sleep-destroying. Because, you know, I simply could not be fired. I had a mortgage, a little girl about to go to a preschool that cost more than my car each year … So, while Stanley sneered at authority and sauntered about town going to magazine parties, Gil lived in dread. Our most precious secret was Bing’s anonymity, which assured the continued well-being of both of us.'”
Read more here.