Former Time Inc. Chairman Heiskell Dies
NEW YORK (AP) _ Andrew Heiskell, who served as chairman of Time Inc. and spearheaded philanthropic efforts helped to improve the New York Public Library system, has died. He was 87.
Heiskell, who died Sunday, spent 43 years with Time Inc. He rose to chairman and chief executive before embarking on a career in philanthropy in which he raised hundreds of millions of dollars for the library system.
Born in Naples, Italy, in 1915 of American expatriate parents, he began his Time Inc. career in 1937 when he produced and edited articles on science and medicine for Life magazine. He later moved from editorial responsibilities to business duties.
At age 30, he became publisher of Life, and in 1960 he was named chairman of the entire Time Inc. media conglomerate. He ran the company until 1980, reluctantly closing down Life magazine during his tenure but then launching People in 1974.
During the late 1960s, after riots tore through many American cities, Heiskell helped found the Urban Coalition, an organization of community coalitions that addressed urban problems.
Later, as chairman of the Enterprise Foundation advisory board, Heiskell helped to advance $600 million of housing in blighted areas of the city.
Heiskell joined the board of the New York Public Library in 1978 and launched a rescue effort for the ailing system. Along with director Vartan Gregorian, and fellow philanthropist Brooke Astor, he began a campaign to transform the city’s libraries.
He later teamed up with writer and urban scholar William Whyte in a 12-year project to rehabilitate Bryant Park, the midtown lawn abutting the main New York Public Library.
In his 1998 memoir, ``Outsider, Insider: An Unlikely Success Story,″ Heiskell lamented the absorption of Time Inc. in the 1989 merger with Warner Communications. ``I left my company in good shape _ financially, spiritually, ethically,″ he wrote. ``Its reputation was splendid. Times change.″
Survivors include his widow, Marian Sulzberger Heiskell; a sister, Diana Heiskell; a son, Peter Chapin; a daughter, Diane Schetky; a stepson, Robert Dryfoos; and two stepdaughters, Jacqueline and Susan Dryfoos. Mrs. Heiskell is also the widow of Orvil E. Dryfoos, publisher of The New York Times, who died in 1963.
Heiskell’s second wife was actress Madeleine Carroll, who starred in such movie classics as Alfred Hitchcock’s ``The 39 Steps″ and ``Secret Agent″ and the Bob Hope comedy ``My Favorite Blonde.″