The Baltimore Sun

Steven T. Florio, 58 Magazine publishing executive

Steven T. Florio, a hard-driving executive who worked his way up the publishing ladder to lead the Conde Nast magazine empire, died Thursday at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia of complications from an earlier heart attack, said Maurie Perl, a spokeswoman for Conde Nast Publications.

Mr. Florio was president and chief executive of Conde Nast through 2004, expanding it to the second-biggest magazine publisher in the country while many others were cutting staff and costs.

He managed 16 magazines aimed at well-to-do readers, selling advertising that appealed to their luxury tastes and reaching more than 70 million readers a month.

"I was, after all, Steve Florio, the Godfather, the Samurai, the leader, the warrior," Mr. Florio wrote in a 2005 proposal for an autobiography that he decided not to publish.

Under him, Conde Nast included Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, as well as Glamour, Architectural Digest, Self, GQ, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, Allure, Wired, Lucky and Teen Vogue.

New Yorker editor David Remnick said Mr. Florio was "remarkably effective" in using his big, warm personality to achieve his goals. "Steve was the antithesis of a business school-minted android," Mr. Remnick said.

Born in the New York borough of Queens, Mr. Florio graduated from New York University with a business degree in 1971.

"I was not short on nerve or ego, and I carried a heavy chip on my shoulder," he wrote in the book proposal. "They'll bury me with it, too. I was there to get the job done."

Herman Rose, 98 Painter of cityscapes

Herman Rose, a New York painter who was particularly admired for his cityscapes, died of cancer Dec. 4 at his home in New York. Mr. Rose started out painting in an Expressionist vein, and he arrived at his mature style in the early 1950s after determining to work always from direct observation.

At a time when big-scale abstraction was ascendant, Rose painted small, airy, light-filled views of skies and rooftops in an Impressionist manner. He painstakingly constructed his pictures from countless little blurry squares and dabs of paint, producing an enhanced tension between the concrete substance of the paint on the canvas and the spacious and luminous illusion of reality the work projected.

He also painted still lifes and watercolors. In a review of a 1981 exhibition, New York Times critic Hilton Kramer wrote that Mr. Rose's watercolors "must surely be counted among the most beautiful works anyone has produced in this challenging medium for many years."

Herman Rappaport, who began using the name Rose when he had his first solo exhibition in 1946, was born in Brooklyn on Nov. 6, 1909. He studied at the National Academy of Design in 1926 and was trained as a draftsman by his brother, Abraham. From 1934 to 1939 he worked as an assistant to Arshile Gorky in the Works Progress Administration's Murals Division. At other times he supported himself as a professional draftsman.

After he was included in a 1952 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art called 15 Americans, which also presented works by Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko, he was able to live mainly on sales of his paintings.

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