Former trustee Ed Cony '48 dies

Edward Cony '48 died on January 9 in Santa Cruz, California, from pneumonia and complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 66. Cony served as a trustee from 1974 to 1990 and maintained strong ties with Reed College.

In 1961 Cony received the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for articles about business ethics in the timber industry. He was deeply involved in defending First Amendment freedom of the press and was a frequent speaker (sometimes at Reed) on the topic of rights and responsibilities of the media.

Cony was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal for over 20 years. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 before attending Reed, and after graduating he studied at Stanford University, earning a master's in journalism in 1951. He worked as a reporter for the Oregonian for several years before joining the San Francisco bureau of the Wall Street Journal. He later served as a bureau chief in Los Angeles and Jacksonville, Florida, and in 1965 he was named managing editor, the newspaper's highest ranking position.

Cony became executive director of Dow Jones publications and news services in 1970 and was named a vice president in 1972. He was later named president of the Dow Jones division that published the Asian Wall Street Journal. In 1977 he became a vice president for news at Dow Jones, and he was president of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund from 1981 to 1988. At the time of his retirement in 1988, he was also serving as associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was elected president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1988 but immediately resigned from the post because he had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

"Ed was extraordinarily intelligent, possessed of a wonderful wit, an easy sense of humor, and absolute integrity," wrote Alan Abelson in his "Up and Down Wall Street" column in the January 24 Barron's. "Pure and simple, he was the best newspaperman we've ever known, and, we're absolutely convinced, there never has been a better one, anywhere, ever."

Walter Mintz '50, chairman of the Reed board of trustees, commented that "Abelson's characterization of Cony is absolutely accurate. Ed was a dear and close friend, and his terrible illness was an enormous tragedy."

The board of trustees unanimously passed a memorial resolution in Cony's honor at its February meeting. The resolution concluded that "Above all, his life wonderfully embodied the values of a Reed education."

Survivors include his wife, Sue; a son; five daughters; a sister; and 10 grandchildren.

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