Malcolm Magruder
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Malcolm Magruder died Friday, July 11, at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth. He was 89. Malcolm was born March 5, 1925, in Fort Sill, Okla. As the son of Brigadier General John Magruder, who served as the military attache to China in the 1920s and who helped found the Organization of Strategic Services during World War II, Malcolm grew up in a variety of international settings. Throughout his adolescent years, he lived in China, Switzerland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. After graduating from St. Albans School in 1943, he went on to serve in the U.S. Army as a part of the 10th Mountain Division during World War II in Northern Italy. He received a Bronze Star in 1945 for his meritorious service during combat near Castel dAlano, Italy. After his service in Italy, Malcolm attended Cornell University on the GI Bill. He graduated in 1949. Malcolms most formidable years were spent working as a diplomatic courier, and his constant travel lead him to meet the love of his life, Sarah Ann "Sally" Friedrichs. While returning home from one of his overseas trips, he heard an unforgettable voice announce a flight status over the intercom. He immediately turned to his travelling partner and said, I need to find the woman behind that voice. After asking around the airport, he was finally able to meet her. Malcolm asked her to dinner, and by 1952 they were married. Malcolm and Sally moved to South America where he went to work for Panagra Airlines in Lima, Peru. Their first son, Munro, was born there in 1953. There second son Bruce was born in Panama City in 1955. They returned to the United States in 1957 and Malcolm took his first job in book publishing with Brett-MacMillan. His third son, John Stuart, was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1958. For the next two decades he raised his family in Westport, Conn. Malcolm had a successful 32-year publishing career with Frederick Praeger, Walker Publishing, Stein & Day, and William Morrow and Company, where he was director of sales for nearly 10 years and the Southeastern representative for 12 years until his retirement in 1990. Lawrence Hughes, the former president of William Morrow, said, "Malcolm thought the glass was half full even when it was about 60% empty. That enthusiasm was infectious and combined with his deep knowledge of the book trade, was a tremendous asset to William Morrow and by extension, to me in my job." After his retirement from book publishing in 1990 Malcolm and Sally lived in Naples, Fla., St. Simons Island, Ga., and Williamsburg, Va., until she passed in 2007. He then moved to Richmond, Va., and Hingham, where he spent the last 14 months of his life in the Allerton House reintroducing much needed traditions like cocktail hour. He is survived by his sons, Munro (Virginia), Bruce (Jill), and John Stuart (Susan); and his four grandchildren, Colin, Meghan, Jenny and Chaelin. For an online guest book, please visit www.mcnamara-sparrell.com.


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Published in The Patriot Ledger on Jul. 26, 2014.
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