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Norman Mitchell Lobsenz

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Norman Mitchell Lobsenz Obituary
Norman Mitchell Lobsenz

May 16, 1919 - May 20, 2012

Norman Mitchell Lobsenz, a prolific writer who educated millions of readers about marriage, sex and family issues through more than 20 books and 1,000 articles in national magazines such as Reader's Digest, McCall's, Redbook and The New York Times Magazine, died May 20 at his home in Redondo Beach, Calif. He was 93. During his 55-year career as a freelance writer, Lobsenz was among the first to publish articles in mass market media about such sensitive subjects as infidelity, divorce and sex among seniors, and he authored a monthly column in McCall's—Men and Women-from 1977-1980 with noted Los Angeles marital therapist Marcia Lasswell. He was recognized for his pioneering work by the Family Service Association of America, which three times gave him its National Media Award, the American Academy of Family Physicians, which gave him its National Journalism Award, and the American Association of for Marital and Family Therapy, which named him as the only writer ever to receive their Distinguished Affiliate Member award. Among his best-selling books were No Fault Marriage (Doubleday, 1976), Styles of Loving (Doubleday, 1980), both co-written with Lasswell, and Nobody's Perfect (Stratford Press, 1981), with Mort Weisinger. His books were reprinted in Japanese, German and Spanish editions for overseas audiences. Prior to specializing in family and marriage topics, Lobsenz's wide-ranging work included interviews with the likes of Sophia Loren, Barbra Streisand and the former empress of Iran, numerous children's books, including the First Book of Insects, and a stint as editorial director of an early science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories. Lobsenz also was a leading figure in the journalism community, co-founding the American Society of Journalists and Authors (previously the Society of Magazine Writers) in 1948 and subsequently serving as its president in 1965. He won the group's Career Achievement Award in 1993.
A resident of Los Angeles since 1977, Lobsenz was an adjunct professor at UCLA and the USC and a volunteer for the Beach Cities Health District, where he was part of their Peer to Peer counseling program for many years. Norman loved doubles tennis, body surfing, Edgar Allan Poe, the New York Mets and See's candies. Norman was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 16, 1919 and graduated from New York University and Columbia Journalism School with a master's degree. He was married to Amelia Freitag, 1946; Margery Darrell, 1953; Virginia Allison, 1964; and Dorothea Harding, 1969. He is survived by his loving companion, Helen Leven; three sons, Michael Lobsenz Abrahams, Jim Lobsenz and George Lobsenz; seven grandchildren, Miranda, Rosa and Diana Abrahams, Jennifer and Emily Lobsenz and Charlie and Olivia Lobsenz; two stepsons, Dean and Craig Allison; and Helen's children, Ben and Jami Kae, Ellen Seaman and grandchildren Tyler and Miriam.
Donations in his memory should be sent to The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund, c/o the American Society of Journalists and Authors, 1501 Broadway, Suite 403, New York, NY 10036. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.
Published in Daily Breeze on June 6, 2012
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