Osborn Elliott, a giant of American journalism and a tireless crusader for revitalizing America’s cities, died on Sunday in New York City. He was 83.
The cause was complications from cancer, his family said.
As NEWSWEEK’s top editor in the 1960s and 1970s, Elliott transformed a magazine that had been a faint rival of Time into a nimble competitor. While Time was slow to evolve from the conservative path laid down by its founder Henry Luce, NEWSWEEK under Elliott pursued an ambitious, liberal agenda that gave the magazine a sharper identity and sense of mission. For those accomplishments, Elliott, known to his friends as “Oz,” was among the first to be voted into the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame. He also received the Frederick Douglass Award from the New York Urban League for his work in civil rights.