OLD Media Moves

Patterson, editor of editorial page at Business Week, dies at 91

November 29, 2016

Posted by Chris Roush

Jack Patterson
Jack Patterson

Jack Eugene Patterson, who served Business Week magazine as its Atlanta bureau chief and later the editor of its editorial page, died Monday at the age of  91 in Maine.

Patterson joined the McGraw-Hill publication in 1955 and stayed until his retirement in 1987. He continued to write for the magazine after retirement, primarily penning book reviews.

Born in Atlanta on Sept. 16, 1925, Patterson served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the India-Burma theater, principally in the Adjutant Generals Department in New Delhi, India.

He graduated from Emory University in 1948 and then received a master’s degree in literature at Columbia University.

Patterson was a contributor to the Columbia Encyclopedia and embarked on a career in journalism, most notably as a writer and editor for Business Week magazine. He covered the civil rights era in the 1960s as Business Week’s Atlanta bureau chief.

He went on to become cities editor, book review editor and senior editorial page editor at the magazine’s New York headquarters and retired in 1987.

After hire retirement, Patterson moved to Spain for 18 months and worked as a freelance journalist.

In 1997, he wrote:

Luckily, I did not retire either to escape from a job I hated or to pry myself loose from one I didn’t know how to live without. I enjoyed my work most of the time, but I knew the day would come when I would give it up. So I spent many preretirement hours thinking about what I would do when I had cleaned out my desk for the last time. It turned out that in important respects, what I wanted — activities that fulfilled me — was not different from what I had while working.

Patterson married Barbara Frost in 1955 and was a father to four children. The couple divorced in 1973.

He is survived by a son, Andrew Patterson, and his wife, Renee, granddaughter Anna and grandson Linus, all of Cutler, Maine. Patterson is also survived by a daughter-in-law, Joanne Zach, and grandson Owen, both of Mount Vernon, New York, and daughter-in-law Martha Gunnarson of Oxford, Massachusetts.

He was predeceased by a beloved daughter, Catherine Frost Patterson, in 1968, and two stepsons, Philip Zach, in 2000, and Adam Zach, in 2011.

A memorial service will be held at the Cutler United Methodist Church in Cutler, Maine, on a date to be announced. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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