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Jane Montant, 85; Led Gourmet Magazine in Period of Growth

Jane Montant, 85, who helped transform Gourmet magazine from a food publication into a lifestyle magazine for the affluent, died Jan. 1 at her home in New York City. She had been battling Parkinson’s disease, emphysema and liver cancer.

Montant was editor in chief from 1980 to 1991, when she retired. During her tenure, Gourmet’s circulation rose from 671,000 to 895,000. Under her leadership, Gourmet attracted talented writers such as James Beard, Joseph Wechsberg and Richard Condon.

Although Gourmet was the acknowledged leader among food magazines, it considered itself a lifestyle magazine for the affluent. In addition to hiring veteran cooks who could create recipes, the magazine had articles on foreign travel.

Born in Boston, Montant grew up primarily in New York City. She started at Gourmet in 1953, answering letters from subscribers.

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