Class of 1958
Inducted 1998 Inaugural Group
In a journalistic career that spans five decades, Edward Kosner has been the top editor of three nationally renowned magazines — Newsweek, New York and Esquire — as well as one of the nation’s best-known newspapers, The New York Daily News.
Kosner, who was born in New York on July 26, 1937, got his start in journalism when he was still a youngster in Washington Heights, where he became the editor of his elementary and junior high school newspapers. He was only 16 when he enrolled at the College, joined the staff of The Campus and subsequently became its editor. While at CCNY, he was named campus correspondent for The New York Times. After graduating in 1958, Kosner was hired by the New York Post as a night rewrite man, then was promoted to a series writer and assistant city editor.
|In his office at Newsweek, 1976|
In 1963, he joined Newsweek as a national affairs writer and over the next 16 years held every top editorial position on the magazine, serving as editor from 1975 to 1979. During his time at Newsweek, he wrote more than a score of cover stories, ranging from Jacqueline Kennedy’s new life following the assassination of her husband to pieces on national politics and urban affairs. He produced major projects, including “The Negro in America: What Must Be Done,” “Poverty in America” and “Justice on Trial,” which won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel. He also directed Newsweek’s extensive coverage of the Watergate scandal, resulting in more than 40 cover stories.
Kosner left Newsweek to become the editor of New York magazine in 1980. Later, he was put in charge of New York’s business side, becoming its publisher and president as well as its editor. During his 13 years at New York, it set records in advertising and circulation and won four National Magazine Awards.
In 1993, Kosner left to become editor of Esquire, which he ran until 1997. The following year, he returned to the newspaper arena, joining The New York Daily News, then the largest-circulation daily tabloid in the United States. His initial assignment was to create and edit a new Sunday edition, but in 2000 he was named editor-in-chief of the entire paper. Kosner was at The News until 2004, overseeing coverage of events that included the George W. Bush-Al Gore presidential election battle, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He left The News in 2004, wrote a memoir entitled “It’s News to Me” and, in 2007, began reviewing books for the Wall Street Journal.Kosner is also a former president of the American Society of Magazine Editors and was honored by the College with a Townsend Harris Medal in 1979.