OLD Media Moves

Longtime Miami Herald biz columnist Russell dies

July 24, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

James Russell, who wrote a financial column for the Miami Herald for 42 years, has died at the age of 91.

Elinor Brecher of The Herald writes, “James Russell, a seasoned wire-service reporter when he arrived at the Miami Herald in 1957, used to tell this story about how shortly thereafter, he became the newspaper’s financial editor and columnist.

“Then-Managing Editor George Beebe called Russell to his office, where he found Al Neuharth, assistant managing editor. Neuharth, who’d go on to chair the Gannett media empire, told Russell that he wanted him to write about money and business.

“‘Surprised is not the right word,’’ Russell wrote in a 2003 memoir. ‘I was stunned. I said, ‘You know, I barely know the difference between a stock and a bond.’’’

“That didn’t seem to matter to the editors, who wanted someone with solid reporting skills who could explain finance to ordinary people.

“Russell evolved into a respected voice in the South Florida financial community and a prescient analyst of national trends.

“In his final column for the Herald on Nov. 29, 1998, he wrote about what would come to be called the ‘dot-com bubble,’ which burst two years later.”

Read more here.

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