o'connor.jpgTelevision critic John J. O’Connor worked for The New York Times for over 25 years.

To put it in perspective, he was around to call David Frost‘s interview with Richard Nixon a program that raised “serious questions about the contemporary crafts of marketing and communication.” He was around to say that the television mini-series “Roots” was a giant step forward for popular entertainment. He debated the merits between the Simpson and Cosby families, and one of his last pieces for The Times involved Ellen DeGenerescoming out on national television, which O’Connor had mixed feelings about, calling it “a promotional tool” for what was once a “a delicate, if not traumatic, rite of passage” for gay men and women.

He died last night in his home, at age 76 of lung cancer, survived by his partner Seymour Barofsky. O’Connor may have left The Times in 1997, but as we discovered while searching for examples of his work, many of his reviews can still be found on the paper’s Web site, so you can take a moment to read back through some of his best works.

John J. O’Connor, a Times TV Critic in Years of Industry Upheaval, Dies at 76New York Times

(Photo courtesy of The New York Times)