Arthur Gelb

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Arthur Gelb
Born 3 February 1924
Died 20 May 2014 (aged 90)
New York. United States of America
Cause of death Stroke
Nationality American
Occupation Author, editor
Years active 1944 - 1989
Organization The New York Times

Arthur Gelb (February 3, 1924 – May 20, 2014) was an American editor, author and executive and was the managing editor of The New York Times from 1986 to 1989.


Gelb began working the night shift at The Times as a copy boy in 1944.[1] He ascended through the ranks, holding several titles in many different departments. His biggest impacts were while working in the drama department. He enjoyed the plays of Eugene O'Neill so much that he wrote a biography of the playwright ("O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo", 1974, ISBN 9780060114879) with his wife Barbara Gelb. He supported the creation of the New York Shakespeare Festival by editorializing Joseph Papp's productions. He has edited a number of works such as "Great Lives of the Twentieth Century" (ISBN 978-0812916256). Gelb retired from The Times in 1989 as managing editor.[2][3] "City room" (ISBN 9780399150753), a memoir of his life and career at The Times, was published in 2003.

After retiring from The Times, Gelb became president of The New York Times Company Foundation, which operated until 2009,[4] and director of The New York Times College Scholarship Program.[5]

Personal life

Gelb and his family lived in New York City.[3] Arthur and Barbara Gelb were the parents of Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.


Gelb died on May 20, 2014 at his home in Manhattan, New York of complications of a stroke. He was 90.[6]


  1. Talese, Gay. "The Kingdom and the Tower". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  2. Gelb, Arthur. "Remembering Punch Sulzberger". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Arthur Gelb - About Arthur Gelb - Penguin Group (USA)". Penguin Group. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  4. Strom, Stephanie (2009-04-23). "Foundation of The Times Suspends Gift Program". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-05. 
  5. "Contributor biographical information for Library of Congress control number 2003043154". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  6. Roberts, Sam (May 20, 2014). "Arthur Gelb ... Dies at 90". New York Times.