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Businessweek Archives

John L. Cobbs, 1917 1991

Readers Report

JOHN L. COBBS, 1917-1991

For almost two-thirds of BUSINESS WEEK's 62-year history, John L. Cobbs brought distinction to its editorial staff. Armed with a magna cum laude BA and an MA from Stanford University, he started his long career during World War II in Washington--a base from which he helped our readers penetrate the mysteries of such matters as wage and price controls. Moving to New York, he advanced to such posts as finance editor, business policy editor, and managing editor. From 1969 until his retirement in 1982, he held the title of editor, presiding over the editorial page with grace, wisdom, and wit.

John Cobbs was a master of language and logic who could condense virtually any subject into elegant and persuasive prose. The magazine is indebted to him for much of its strength in covering economics, finance, and education, and the awards he collected attest to this: the School Bell Award of the National Education Assn. and prizes from Sigma Delta Chi, the Overseas Press Club, and the Gerald M. Loeb Foundation. He put his coverage of education to practical use for many years as a member and president of the school board in Chappaqua, N. Y., which was the family home for 33 years. He also served on the visiting committee of Harvard's economics department (earlier, he had attended Harvard as an Arthur Lehman fellow in economics) and on the Joint Council for Economic Education.

On Oct. 13, at the age of 74, John Cobbs died in Memorial Hospital in Easton, Md., near his retirement home in St. Michaels, Md. He will be long remembered.

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