Obituaries : Gwen Jones, 37; Fashion Editor of Los Angeles Herald Examiner

Gwen Jones, fashion editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner since 1979, died of cancer Saturday at her home in Pasadena. She was 37.

Jones, who had been on medical leave since July, was believed to be one of the first black fashion editors at a major American metropolitan newspaper, according to David Gritten, the paper’s former Style section editor. She was also a West Coast editor of MBM (Modern Black Man) magazine, a contributing writer for Essence magazine and a teacher at Los Angeles Trade and Technical College.

“I don’t know if she was the first black fashion editor, but she was certainly one of the first and she was very aware of that,” said Gritten, who was her editor for three years and now writes a television column for the Herald Examiner. “I think her attitude toward the job reflected that.”

Gritten described Jones as someone who tried to cover all levels ofthe fashion market, but who presented herself with unusual elegance. “She was a terrific ambassador for that newspaper,” he said.


Before joining the Herald Examiner, Jones earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and worked for Fairchild Publications in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, becoming an associate editor for the company’s Men’s Wear magazine.

Outstanding Woman of the Year

She was named Outstanding Woman of the Year in 1984 by the Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP and the same year was selected as one of the city’s 10 best-dressed women by Los Angeles Business Journal.

Jones is survived by her husband, Channing D. Johnson, a 6-year-old daughter, Jasmine, and two sisters, Jennifer Weaver and Deborah McDonald. Services are set for Wednesday in Pasadena.