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Elihu ‘Woody’ Klein, 90

It was published by Greenwood Press of Westport, on May 28, 2000 -– the 165th anniversary of the town’s founding in 1835.

In his early years, Klein was co-editor of The Fieldston News, a weekly high school newspaper published by the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

He worked as a part-time reporter for The Riverdale Press, a weekly newspaper, and he served as sports editor of the Daily Dartmouth. He earned a B.A. in sociology at Dartmouth and worked as a stringer for The Associated Press, based in Hanover, N.H.

In 1952, he earned an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He served in the U.S. Army as a Public Information Officer at the headquarters of the Corps of Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was granted a direct commission as a second lieutenant and served in the active reserves until 1961, when he was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant.

Klein eventually became a specialist in investigative and undercover reporting. He began his professional career as a reporter for The Mount Vernon Daily Argus, near his parents’ home in Riverdale. He then worked as a night police and general assignment reporter for The Washington Post and the New York World Telegram & Sun for 10 years.

There, he won numerous awards for his writings. These included a memorable series, “I Lived in a Slum,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The undercover series of full-length articles and photos vividly depicted his experience as a tenant trapped in the filth and squalor of what city officials labeled “the worst slum building in New York City.” The series of articles was selected in 2012 by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism’s “100 Best Stories” in the school’s history.

At the World-Telegram & Sun, Klein covered poverty, housing, and the civil rights movement. He developed close working relationships with such noted civil rights leaders as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom he interviewed for an hour-long exclusive story in 1965.

Klein was also close to Roy Wilkins, head of the N.A.A.C.P., Whitney M. Young, head of The National Urban League, James Farmer, head of the Congress of Racial Equality, Malcolm X, and Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, a renowned psychologist whose studies played a major role in the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous landmark 1954 Brown vs Board of Education decision calling for desegregation in the nation’s public schools.

Klein teamed up with Clark as a fellow at Clark’s Metropolitan Research Center, which advised corporate clients on how to work with the government’s federal affirmative action programs in hiring.

During his newspaper years, Klein served as the moderator of Channel 13 PBS-TV news, working for the late John “Jack” Kiermaier of Westport and former president of the Educational Broadcasting Network (Channel 13 in NY). Klein became an on-air TV investigative reporter for WCBS-TV in New York after he left the World-Telegram & Sun.

Klein spent the next 24 years as a communications executive with IBM, serving the last six years as Editor of Think Magazine, the company’s international employee magazine, published in more than 100 countries. In that job, he traveled extensively and had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Vaclav Havel, then president of Czechoslovakia, for the company magazine.

Klein joined the Westport News in 1992 upon his retirement from IBM. During his tenure as editor from 1992 –- 1998, the newspaper received a nationally-coveted award – the most outstanding in the paper’s history – when it was selected by the Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA) in 1996 as “The Best Community Newspaper in America.”

Brooks Newspapers publisher, the late B.V. Brooks, its president, the late Kevin Lally, and Klein were honored on that occasion.

In addition to writing and editing the Westport News, Klein served as an elected member of the Representative Town Meeting in the 1970s, a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Westport and Weston, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Westport Historical Society.

As a magazine feature writer, Klein contributed numerous articles to Westport Magazine, The Columbia Journalism Review, Connecticut Magazine, Fairfield County Magazine, New York Magazine, The Nation, Commonweal, Pageant, The New Republic, and the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.

Klein’s first book, “Let in the Sun (1964),” expanded on his award-winning series that examined poverty in a New York slum. He went on to write a book about his experiences as press secretary for Mayor John Lindsay, entitled “Lindsay’s Promise: The Dream that Failed (1970).”

After his career at IBM, he continued writing books, which included the Westport history, and five other books, dealing with national politics and social justice. Following, is a list of their titles:

• “Toward Humanity and Justice: The Writings of Kenneth B. Clark, Scholar of the 1954 Board of Education Decision (2004)”

•  “Liberties Lost: The Endangered Legacy of the ACLU (2006):

•  “All the Presidents’ Spokesmen: Spinning the News; White House Press Secretaries from Franklin D Roosevelt to George W. Bush (2008)”

•  “The Inside Stories of Modern Political Scandals: How Investigative Reporters Have Changed the Course of American History (2010)”

•  “American Poverty: Presidential Failures and a Call to Action (2013)”

Klein is survived by his wife, Audrey, his daughter, Wendy and her husband, Howard Lippitt of Long Beach, California; his niece, Judith Willison and her husband, Joel Haycock, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; his brother-in-law, Paul Lehman, and his wife, Angela of Santa Fe, New Mexico; his nephew Mark Lehman, of New York City; his niece, Pamela Tipping and her husband, Mark (and their children and two grandchildren) of Nazare, Portugal; and his nephew Geoff Lehman, and his wife, Lone, of London, U.K.

It was published by Greenwood Press of Westport, on May 28, 2000 -– the 165th anniversary of the town’s founding in 1835.

In his early years, Klein was co-editor of The Fieldston News, a weekly high school newspaper published by the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

He worked as a part-time reporter for The Riverdale Press, a weekly newspaper, and he served as sports editor of the Daily Dartmouth. He earned a B.A. in sociology at Dartmouth and worked as a stringer for The Associated Press, based in Hanover, N.H.

In 1952, he earned an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He served in the U.S. Army as a Public Information Officer at the headquarters of the Corps of Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was granted a direct commission as a second lieutenant and served in the active reserves until 1961, when he was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant.

Klein eventually became a specialist in investigative and undercover reporting. He began his professional career as a reporter for The Mount Vernon Daily Argus, near his parents’ home in Riverdale. He then worked as a night police and general assignment reporter for The Washington Post and the New York World Telegram & Sun for 10 years.

There, he won numerous awards for his writings. These included a memorable series, “I Lived in a Slum,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The undercover series of full-length articles and photos vividly depicted his experience as a tenant trapped in the filth and squalor of what city officials labeled “the worst slum building in New York City.” The series of articles was selected in 2012 by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism’s “100 Best Stories” in the school’s history.

At the World-Telegram & Sun, Klein covered poverty, housing, and the civil rights movement. He developed close working relationships with such noted civil rights leaders as the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whom he interviewed for an hour-long exclusive story in 1965.

Klein was also close to Roy Wilkins, head of the N.A.A.C.P., Whitney M. Young, head of The National Urban League, James Farmer, head of the Congress of Racial Equality, Malcolm X, and Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, a renowned psychologist whose studies played a major role in the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous landmark 1954 Brown vs Board of Education decision calling for desegregation in the nation’s public schools.

Klein teamed up with Clark as a fellow at Clark’s Metropolitan Research Center, which advised corporate clients on how to work with the government’s federal affirmative action programs in hiring.

During his newspaper years, Klein served as the moderator of Channel 13 PBS-TV news, working for the late John “Jack” Kiermaier of Westport and former president of the Educational Broadcasting Network (Channel 13 in NY). Klein became an on-air TV investigative reporter for WCBS-TV in New York after he left the World-Telegram & Sun.

Klein spent the next 24 years as a communications executive with IBM, serving the last six years as Editor of Think Magazine, the company’s international employee magazine, published in more than 100 countries. In that job, he traveled extensively and had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Vaclav Havel, then president of Czechoslovakia, for the company magazine.

Klein joined the Westport News in 1992 upon his retirement from IBM. During his tenure as editor from 1992 –- 1998, the newspaper received a nationally-coveted award – the most outstanding in the paper’s history – when it was selected by the Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA) in 1996 as “The Best Community Newspaper in America.”

Brooks Newspapers publisher, the late B.V. Brooks, its president, the late Kevin Lally, and Klein were honored on that occasion.

In addition to writing and editing the Westport News, Klein served as an elected member of the Representative Town Meeting in the 1970s, a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Westport and Weston, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Westport Historical Society.

As a magazine feature writer, Klein contributed numerous articles to Westport Magazine, The Columbia Journalism Review, Connecticut Magazine, Fairfield County Magazine, New York Magazine, The Nation, Commonweal, Pageant, The New Republic, and the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine.

Klein’s first book, “Let in the Sun (1964),” expanded on his award-winning series that examined poverty in a New York slum. He went on to write a book about his experiences as press secretary for Mayor John Lindsay, entitled “Lindsay’s Promise: The Dream that Failed (1970).”

After his career at IBM, he continued writing books, which included the Westport history, and five other books, dealing with national politics and social justice. Following, is a list of their titles:

• “Toward Humanity and Justice: The Writings of Kenneth B. Clark, Scholar of the 1954 Board of Education Decision (2004)”

•  “Liberties Lost: The Endangered Legacy of the ACLU (2006):

•  “All the Presidents’ Spokesmen: Spinning the News; White House Press Secretaries from Franklin D Roosevelt to George W. Bush (2008)”

•  “The Inside Stories of Modern Political Scandals: How Investigative Reporters Have Changed the Course of American History (2010)”

•  “American Poverty: Presidential Failures and a Call to Action (2013)”

Klein is survived by his wife, Audrey, his daughter, Wendy and her husband, Howard Lippitt of Long Beach, California; his niece, Judith Willison and her husband, Joel Haycock, of Cambridge, Massachusetts; his brother-in-law, Paul Lehman, and his wife, Angela of Santa Fe, New Mexico; his nephew Mark Lehman, of New York City; his niece, Pamela Tipping and her husband, Mark (and their children and two grandchildren) of Nazare, Portugal; and his nephew Geoff Lehman, and his wife, Lone, of London, U.K.

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