New York Times Critic, Editor and Culture Writer Arthur Gelb Passes Away at 90

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New York Times Critic, Editor and Culture Writer Arthur Gelb Passes Away at 90

According to The New York Times, Arthur Gelb, who acted as a critic, chief cultural correspondent, metropolitan editor, deputy managing editor and managing editor for the publication, died today, May 20, 2014. He was 90. Read the Times' full obituary here.

Gelb began working for The New York Times as a copy boy in 1944 and rose through the ranks to the role of managing editor by his retirement in 1989.

He covered off-Broadway and searched for new talent for several years as assistant critic under drama critic Brooks Atkinson; he wrote about up-and-coming stars such as Woody Allen and Barbra Streisand.

In the '70s, Gelb launched the Times' SportsMonday, Science Times, Dining, Home Weekend sections, plus the paper's Sunday special magazines.

He continued to support the arts and culture and became something of a mentor to young writers Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich and John Rockwell.

Gelb and his wife, Barbara, also published two books on Eugene O'Neill's work and influence on American culture: O'NEILL and O'NEILL: LIFE WITH MONTE CRISTO. BY WOMEN POSSESSED, a third installment, is set to hit the shelves next year via Putnam.

Arthur's son Peter Gelb is the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. The Met Orchestra and Union just released the following statement on Arthur Gelb's passing: "The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Musicians and Local 802, AFM wish to convey our sincere condolences to Peter Gelb and his family on the occasion of the death of his father Arthur Gelb, who changed New York City and the nation for the better, not only as a legendary newspaper editor but as a great champion of the arts. We respectfully honor his legacy, and wish his family comfort in this time of loss."

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