Jim McGrath

7 entries
  • "I am so sorry to hear of Jim's passing. We met years ago..."
    - Gail (Radtke) Nuechterlein
  • "Darryl, I just read Jim's obit again. Words can't really do..."
    - James Rosen
  • "Darryl, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, ..."
  • "Darryl, So sorry for your loss - I was a long time friend..."
    - Mark Soldani
  • "A longtime dear friend and a top-shelf journalist who cared..."
    - Chuck&Sandy Eckstein
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McGrath, Jim ALBANY Jim McGrath, 56, the longtime chief editorial writer for the Albany Times Union, died September 4, 2013 at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass. He had been diagnosed in 2011 with a serious cardiac condition and died of a heart attack while helping his wife, Darryl, get to the hospital for treatment of a severe allergic reaction. His wife was treated and released. He was an organ donor, a decision he made after being the recipient of a donated cornea a decade earlier. He was born June 4, 1957, in Brighton, Mass., to Charles McGrath, a newspaper printer, and Catherine McGrail McGrath, a homemaker. He graduated from Boston Latin School and Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill., where he graduated with honors with a dual degree in sociology and anthropology. An accomplished soccer player, he helped the Lake Forest varsity men's soccer team win the Midwest Conference championship in 1975 and 1976. He was editor of the college newspaper, The Stentor, and also served on the college's judicial board. He earned a master's degree at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in Chicago, Ill., in 1982, and started his professional newspaper career at The News-Sun in Waukegan, Ill. He subsequently worked at newspapers in Massachusetts, Florida and Connecticut, including the Hartford Courant, as a reporter, editor and editorial page columnist before joining the Knicker-bocker News in Albany as a news editor in 1985. When that newspaper closed in 1988, he joined the Times Union as a copy editor, and eventually was named copy desk chief. He was a frequent guest writer of opinion pieces and editorials for the Times Union before becoming the paper's chief editorial writer in 1996. He specialized in politics, economics, social issues, the environment and sports. In the past decade, he had written numerous guest opinion pieces for Newsday and the Providence Journal. He received numerous state and national awards for his editorials. He was named the Hearst Editorial Writer of the Year several times, and also received numerous first- and second-place awards by the New York State Associated Press Association, and two first-place awards by the New York Newspaper Publishers Association. He was a Knight Center Fellow at the University of Maryland in 1997, and was a co-recipient, along with other Times Union staff, of the Investigative Reporters and Editors' 2007 Freedom of Information Medal for a series about spending by state lawmakers. He was also co-recipient with the other editorial board members of Common Cause's 2002 "I Love an Ethical New York" award for a series of editorials on campaign finance reform and Freedom of Information compliance by state lawmakers. He was a voracious reader, an enthusiastic baseball fan and an avid bicyclist, canoeist and camper. He had been predeceased by his parents while in college. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brothers, Charles McGrath of Allendale, N.J. and Thomas McGrath, of Milton, Mass.; a sister, Mary McGrath, also of Milton; nine nieces and nephews; one great-niece and two great-nephews. A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday (September 14) at Trinity United Methodist Church, 235 Lark St., Albany. Burial will be private. Because of Darryl McGrath's severe allergies, the family emphatically asks that flowers not be sent to the home or the church. Memorial contributions can be made to the student newspaper at Lake Forest College, The Stentor, c/o Lake Forest College, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, Ill. 60045. To express condolences visit, www.sbfuneralhome.com

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Published in Albany Times Union on Sept. 12, 2013
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