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Gardner Botsford, 87; Longtime Editor at New Yorker Magazine

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Gardner Botsford, 87, a longtime editor at the New Yorker magazine who was considered instrumental in shaping its style, died Monday of bone marrow disease at his home in New York City.

Over a 40-year career that spanned the magazine’s most influential years, Botsford edited work from writers such as A.J. Liebling, Roger Angell and, later, his wife, author Janet Malcolm. Under the editorship of William Shawn, Botsford was considered one of the magazine’s most powerful voices.

Born in 1917 in New York, Botsford was raised in Manhattan’s high society as the son of heiress Ruth Gardner and journalist and advertising executive Alfred Miller Botsford. When his parents divorced, his mother married Raoul Fleishmann, whose family financed the New Yorker.

After leaving Yale University, Botsford got a job at the New Yorker as a reporter but was fired by editor Harold Ross, who told him to go get newspaper experience. Botsford went on to the Jacksonville (Fla.) Journal, and in 1942, rejoined the New Yorker. He retired from the magazine in 1982.

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