NEW YORK - Sylvan Fox, the first "rewrite man" to be singled out for a Pulitzer Prize, died Saturday in New York University Medical Center.
Mr. Fox, who also worked as a reporter and editor for The
Mr. Fox was a reporter at The New York World-Telegram & The Sun when, on March 1, 1962, he was part of a team assigned to cover an airplane crash on Long Island that killed all 95 passengers. While his fellow reporters at the paper rushed to the crash site and phoned him with their notes, Mr. Fox calmly worked the facts into order and delivered an article within a half-hour of the accident.
He then rewrote the article for seven editions of the paper, adding new details as they came in. Within 90 minutes of the crash, he had produced a 3,000-word story. The Pulitzer was awarded to Mr. Fox and two colleagues in the since-abandoned category of "local story, edition time."
From 1967 to 1973, Mr. Fox worked as a reporter and editor at The Times.
Mr. Fox grew up in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and was a classically trained pianist. He spent four years at the Juilliard School of Music, but left without a degree because of his decision to change his major from piano to musical composition.
It was at Juilliard that he met the woman who became his wife, Gloria Endleman, a fellow piano student. Mr. Fox graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in philosophy, then earned a master's degree in musicology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Fox worked as a reporter at several newspapers in upstate New York before he came to The World-Telegram. At the Times, he held several jobs, including a stint as the Saigon bureau chief in 1973. He then spent 15 years at Newsday, where he was editorial page editor from 1979 to 1988.
Besides his wife, Mr. Fox leaves a daughter, Erica.