JObit: Martin, Margaret Kelly (MC1998) reports the obit for Brady, James [MC1950]

From: Martin, Margaret Kelly (MC1998)
Date: January 28, 2009 8:35:13 AM EST
Subject: Fwd: PARADE Mourns The Passing of James Brady

James Brady is the brother of my local pastor, Msgr. Thomas Brady and was a fellow Jasper

—–Original Message—–

Sent: Tue, 27 Jan 2009 7:17 pm
Subject: PARADE Mourns The Passing of James Brady

PARADE Mourns The Passing of Long-Time Contributor James Brady
Publication Date: 01/27/2009
James Brady

   James Brady, long-time author of PARADE’s celebrity profile column “In Step With”, died Monday at his Manhattan home. He was 80.

   He is survived by his wife, Florence; two daughters, Fiona Brady and Susan Konig; four grandchildren, Sarah, Joseph, Nichola s and Matthew, and one brother, Monsignor Tom Brady. Sons-in-law are David Konig and Carl Mehling.

   For nearly 25 years, Brady provided a glimpse into the lives of some of the nation’s most beloved celebrities, and some up-and-comers who are relatively new to the national spotlight. His last PARADE column, featuring Kevin Bacon, will appear on February 15, 2009. 9 CJim was a friend to the 73 million Americans who looked forward to his column each week, and he was a friend to all of use here at PARADE,” said CEO and Chairman Walter Anderson. “He was also a decorated war hero and a towering figure in American journalism. He will be extraordinarily missed.”

   A prolific author and a Marine, Brady’s book “The Scariest Place in the World”, published by St. Martin’s Press in 2005, is a non-fiction account of his return to North Korea for a PARADE magazine article. He is also the author of “Why Marines Fight”(2007) and “The Marine”(2003), a novel of the Korean War. “The Coldest War”, published in 1990, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was hailed by The New York Times as “a superb personal memoir of the way it was.”

   Brady just finished the final edits on his new book: “Hero of the Pacific: The Life of Legendary Marine John Basilone”. Basilone was a World War II hero, one of three who’ll be featured players in the forthcoming Steven Spielberg-Tom Hanks HBO miniseries, The Pacific (October, 2009), a sequel to their highly acclaimed Band of Brothers. Jim’s book will be published by Wiley to coincide with the release of the series.

   As a “baby-faced” Marine lieutenant, Brady fought as a rifle platoon leader and later rifle company executive officer of Dog Company in the 7th Marines in the Taebaek Mountains of North Korea in the fall and winter of 1951-52. He was promoted to first lieutenant and battalion intelligence officer, and, in November 2001, he was a warded the Bronze Star with Combat V for a firefight against the Chinese army on Hill Yoke near Panmunjom on May 31, 1952.

   Brady had worked his way through college as a copyboy for the New York Daily News, then the largest circulation daily in the country. After graduation he returned from the war (and was offered not a reporting job but only his old copyboy gig), he wrote advertising copy for Macy’s and in 1953 was hired as a business news reporter by Women’s Wear Daily. In 1956-58 he covered Capitol Hill for Fairchild Publications, a period when Ike was in the White House, Nixon was Vice-President, Lyndon Johnson ran the Senate (and some said, the country), Sam Rayburn was Speaker of the House, and Jack and Bobby Kennedy were making their bones as a junior Senator and investigating committee counsel.

   Brady became London bureau chief for Fairchild in 1959 and two years later succeeded John Fairchild as bureau chief and European director in Paris, where he learned about fashion at the knee of the legendary Coco Chanel, who fondly and invariably referred to Brady as “mon petit little Indian,” conveniently ignoring the fact he was not a Native American and was a head taller than the fashion designer.

   In 1964 Brady returned to New York to become publisher of Women’s Wear Daily, helping turn that reliable old trade paper into something unique, a sort of media phenomenon, and crafting its successful consumer spinoff W magazine as the company’s editorial director. In 1971 he was hired away by Hearst Magazines as VP/editor & publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, with a mandate to bring the grand old monthly (for which Winston Churchill’s mother was a contributor) into the 20th century. Modernizing too swiftly, Brady disturbed Bazaar’s elegantly aging readership and alarmed the Hearst brass, which panicked, and Brady was abruptly sacked.   

   He wrote his first book, “Superchic,” an account of his publishing adventures and misadventures, and was hired by New York magazine editor Clay Felker to create and write the “Intelligencer” column. His first novel, “Paris One,” became a best-seller and was optioned several times by Hollywood, though never made.

   Brady wrote and hosted a TV talk show spinoff for New York magazine, which became the first cable show nominated for and to win=2 0several Emmys, including one for Brady personally.

   In 1974, Rupert Murdoch recruited Brady to edit his new tabloid weekly, Star. For the next nine years, Brady worked for the press baron in various roles, as vice-chairman of his American company, as associate publisher of the New York Post, and as editor of New York, succeeding Clay Felker. Brady also created and for seve ral years wrote the popular “Page Six” gossip column for the Post. And by now he was back on television, first on WABC News and then for six years doing live ce lebrity interviews over WCBS-TV News in New York, earning additional Emmy nominations. And in 1997 when demonstrably far too old for such nonsense, he was hired by Roger Ailes, then of CNBC, to do “Power Lunch” interviews with movers & shakers over a table at the Four Seasons restaurant in Manhattan.

   In recent years Brady worked in two very disparate fictional genres. His quartet of best-selling Hamptons romances, starting with “Further Lane,” are comedies of manners set in East Hampton, where he lived. Actual real life people and purely fictional characters were woven together and seen through the eyes of Brady’s protagonist and alter ego, the terminal WASP Beecher Stowe, himself like Brady a PARADE magazine correspondent, and his dazzling if spacey paramour, Lady Alix Dunraven, an Oxford graduate with a penchant for becoming engaged to aristocratic chinless wonders, who writes intermittently for Mr. Murdoch’s Times of London.

   At the same time, his quartet of Marine Corps books, historical yarns that are darker, brooding, and more weighty, blending martial adventure with fact, have become critically acclaimed best-sellers that appeal to an entirely different but devoted readership. As Publishers Weekly wrote in a starred review, “(Brady) has stormed publishing high ground to become, arguably, our foremo st novelist current writing on the subject of Marines at war…” And of his “Marines of Autumn,” Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wrote, “The Korean War now has its ‘Il iad.'”

   In the spring of 2003, as tensions rose along the demilitarized zone and North Korea rattled nuclear swords, Brady returned to Korea for the first time in half a century, on assignment for PARADE magazine, to revisit the North Korean ridgelines where he first fought, and to interview the young GIs manning those same positions today. His cover story ran on May 25, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, precisely 51 years since the firefight for which he won his medal.

   Until his death, Brady continued to write his weekly column for PARADE and his column on media on, which debuted on January 19, 2006. Prior to that, Brady had written for Advertising Age and its savvy audience of media and Madison Avenue decision makers, and for Crain’s New York Business.

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Brady, James [MC1950]

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NEW YORK (AP) — James Brady, the Parade magazine celebrity columnist whose wide-ranging career also included novels, a memoir on his Korean War service and a stint as publisher of the fashion bible Women’s Wear Daily, has died at 80.

Brady’s death was announced Tuesday by Parade magazine, where he wrote the celebrity profile column “In Step With” for nearly 25 years. He died Monday at his Manhattan home.

Brady also was credited with initiating the New York Post’s popular Page Six gossip section when he worked for publisher Rupert Murdoch in the 1970s. During that time, he also succeeded Clay Felker as editor of New York magazine when Murdoch acquired it in 1977

His varied interests were alluded to in a 1997 New York Times profile. At Brady’s home in East Hampton, it said, “photos from years gone by paper the walls. Mr. Brady with (designer Coco) Chanel in Paris, Mr. Brady with a young Brooke Shields in New York, Mr. Brady in combat fatigues in Korea, Mr. Brady with President Bush in Washington.”

The Times praised his 1990 memoir on Korea, “The Coldest War,” as “a superb personal memoir of the way it was. … What distinguishes Mr. Brady’s book is its clarity and modesty; there is no heroic flag-waving here.”

He followed it up with a 2000 novel, “The Marines of Autumn,” and his 2005 “The Scariest Place in the World: A Marine Returns to North Korea.”

He had gone back in 2003 for Parade magazine, and in the book he shared his experiences and emotions on seeing the place 50 years after the war ended in a stalemate. In “The Scariest Place,” he wrote that none of the many later events of his life “matched the intensity, the gravitas and sheer excitement” of combat as leader of a rifle platoon.

Among his other books was “Further Lane,” a 1997 murder mystery set in East Hampton; and two novels drawing on his years in the women’s wear field: “Designs” and “Fashion Show.”

He had become Women’s Wear Daily’s publisher in 1964. Working with Fairchild Publications chief John Fairchild, he helped make the daily into a publication popular with 1960s fashionistas as well as professionals in the clothing trade.

He jumped to Hearst Corp. in 1971 and was publisher of its fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar.

But many readers knew him best for his contributions at Parade. CEO Walter Anderson said Brady “was a friend to the 73 million Americans who looked forward to his column each week … He will be extraordinarily missed.”

His last column will appear Feb. 15. It will feature actor Kevin Bacon.

Born in 1928, Brady started as a copyboy for the New York Daily News, where he worked while attending Manhattan College. Shortly after returning from Korea, he joined Fairchild Publications. Among other posts, he covered Washington for Fairchild and later reported from London and Paris.

He was hired by Murdoch in 1974 to edit the then-new weekly Star magazine. He later was an associate publisher at the New York Post.

Brady is survived by his wife, two daughters, a brother and other relatives.


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James Brady dies at 80; Parade magazine columnist, prolific author

Los Angeles Times – CA,USA

15, 1928, in Brooklyn, NY, James Winston Brady graduated from Manhattan College in 1950. After serving in the Marine Corps, he attended New York University …

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Dear John,

   I believe that Jim is a member of the Class of 1950.

   May He Rest In Peace.


[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated. ]

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