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Albert N. Goldberg, 1937-2013: Ex-Blade business editor a trusted reporter


Goldberg in 1979

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Albert N. Goldberg, a former Blade business editor and reporter who was trusted with a wide range of assignments, died Thursday in California. He was 75.

He had cancer, said Dr. Seymour Chabler, formerly of Toledo, a retired podiatrist and a friend in Laguna Woods Village, Calif. Mr. Goldberg and his wife, Ellen, divided their time each year between that community and Lake Tahoe.

Mr. Goldberg left The Blade in 1979 to become community relations manager for the Jeep Corp. in Toledo.

In 1981, he became an account executive with Hill & Knowlton, the public relations and advertising firm, and was based in Los Angeles. A promotion to senior vice president followed in 1989.

He was hired to the Blade’s news staff in 1967 and, after a stint as a general assignment reporter, covered federal court and city hall. The newspaper heralded him in a promotional ad.

“Al Goldberg, Blade staff writer, keeps a close eye on your city government. Attending scores of meetings and asking a lot of questions, he acts as your proxy,” the ad said, under the reporter’s photograph. “You don’t have time to do it. So let Al Goldberg keep you informed ...”

In the early 1970s, he reported from The Blade’s Columbus bureau. As business editor for five years, he continued to report and write.

“He was a good reporter. That’s the best thing I can say about him,” said Joe O’Conor, a retired Blade managing editor. “Persistent. Very diligent. Worked at his trade. Just a good newspaperman.”

If not speedy, he was thorough. “If you told him to do something, you knew he would get it done,” Mr. O’Conor said.

Some stories were constructed so carefully that editors found them difficult to cut, said Edson Whipple, also a former managing editor.

“He was one of the fairly rare people who could work on almost any kind of a story, and you knew it was going to be well done,” Mr. Whipple said. “He was a solid writer.”

Tom Gearhart, a longtime Blade editor and writer, added: “He was absolutely a thorough writer, a terrific journalist.”

When Mr. Gearhart and his wife, Barbara, married in 1972, Mr. Goldberg “was my choice for best man,” Mr. Gearhart said. “He was the most honest, the most likable person I ever knew. He was a gentle person, a really hard serious journalist, and the dearest friend. He was beloved.”

Born Dec. 16, 1937, in Toledo to Goldie and Sidney Goldberg, he attended Scott High School and was a 1955 graduate of DeVilbiss High School.

He wasn’t an athlete himself, but his father was a well known Toledo sports promoter — and raconteur — who became a Blade circulation district manager. Young Al grew up knowing athletes, coaches, and sports writers, and his interest in sports remained keen, he said in a 1971 company questionnaire.

He was a 1959 graduate of Bowling Green State University, from which he received a bachelor of science degree in journalism.

He was a reporter and issue editor for the BG News, the student newspaper, and was sports editor of the Key, the university yearbook.

He was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, a men’s leadership honorary, and Delta Sigma, a men’s journalism honorary. He was a former president and historian of Zeta Beta Tau and served as an alumnus trustee to the chapter.

At BGSU, Mr. Goldberg was in ROTC and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army.

He was a member for five years of the 37th Infantry Division of the Ohio National Guard, serving as assistant information manager.

While in college, Mr. Goldberg worked summers in the former Toledo Times’ circulation department and had a Blade internship. After a short stay in 1960 at the Courier in Findlay, he was public relations manager for the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce and was editor and advertising manager for its Toledo Business News.

Mr. Goldberg was hired in 1962 as an Associated Press reporter in Columbus and during his five-year tenure covered John Glenn’s return to Ohio after his first space flight; race riots; state government and state elections, and such natural disasters as the Palm Sunday tornadoes of 1965.

His marriage to the former Marlene Soldinger ended in divorce. The couple had two children, Andrew and Lauren.

Mr. Goldberg’s death was announced Friday at the Reform Temple of Laguna Woods, as were memorial services scheduled for 2 p.m. today, Dr. Chabler said.

To make donations in his name, the family suggests either the Temple Bat Yam or South Tahoe Cancer League, both in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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