Anthony Lewis, Retired New York Times Columnist, Dies at 85

Jewish Scribe Was Champion and Critic of U.S. Legal System

Anthony Lewis, a retired New York Times columnist, has died at 85.
getty images
Anthony Lewis, a retired New York Times columnist, has died at 85.

By Reuters

Published March 25, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 3)

Gideon appealed to the Supreme Court, which used his case to declare that every person charged with a serious crime is entitled to the assistance of a lawyer.

‘OPTIMIST ABOUT AMERICA’

In his final column, written in the months following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, Lewis mused on how the United States would balance its tradition of free expression with a renewed concern about national security.

“I am an optimist about America. But how can I maintain that optimism after Vietnam, after the murder of so many who fought for civil rights, after the Red scare and after the abusive tactics planned by government today?” he wrote. “I can because we have regretted our mistakes in the past, relearning every time that no ruler can be trusted with arbitrary power. And I believe we will again.”

Lewis is survived by his second wife, Margaret Marshall, former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court; daughters Eliza and Mia, son David, and seven grandchildren. Marshall resigned from the court in 2010 to care for Lewis after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Lewis was a lover of music, the arts, gardening and food, recalled his daughter Mia, who noted that her father loved to make fruit jellies, which won prizes at fairs on Martha’s Vineyard, the Massachusetts resort island.

“Growing up, we all got the sense that the things that he cared about in the world, that he wrote about, he really felt very deeply and cared about tremendously, and he passed that on to us,” Mia Lewis said.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.