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Arthur Gelb
Born (1924-02-03)February 3, 1924
Died May 20, 2014(2014-05-20) (aged 90)
New York City, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Author, editor
Years active 1944–1989
Employer The New York Times
Spouse(s) Barbara Gelb (until his death 2014)
Children Peter

Arthur Gelb (February 3, 1924 – May 20, 2014) was an American editor, author and executive and was the managing editor of The New York Times from 1986 to 1989.


Gelb began working the night shift at The Times as a copy boy in 1944. He ascended through the ranks, holding several titles in many different departments. His biggest impacts were while working in the drama department. He enjoyed the plays of Eugene O'Neill so much that he wrote a biography of the playwright (O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo, 1974, ISBN: 9780060114879) with his wife Barbara. He supported the creation of the New York Shakespeare Festival by editorializing Joseph Papp's productions. He has edited a number of works such as "Great Lives of the Twentieth Century" (ISBN: 978-0812916256). Gelb retired from The Times in 1989 as managing editor. "City room" (ISBN: 9780399150753), a memoir of his life and career at The Times, was published in 2003.

After retiring from The Times, Gelb became president of The New York Times Company Foundation, which operated until 2009, and director of The New York Times College Scholarship Program.

Personal life

Gelb and his family lived in New York City. Arthur and Barbara Gelb were the parents of Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.


Gelb died on May 20, 2014, at his home in Manhattan, New York, of complications of a stroke. He was 90.

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