The Baltimore Sun


Columnist specialized in celebrities

James Brady, the Parade magazine celebrity columnist whose wide-ranging career also included novels, a memoir of his Korean War service and a stint as publisher of the fashion bible Women's Wear Daily, died Monday at his Manhattan home. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Mr. Brady wrote the celebrity profile column "In Step With" for Parade for nearly 25 years.

He also was credited with initiating the New York Post's popular Page Six gossip section when he worked for publisher Rupert Murdoch in the 1970s. During that time, he also succeeded Clay Felker as editor of New York magazine when Murdoch acquired it in 1977

His varied interests were alluded to in a 1997 New York Times profile. At Mr. Brady's home in East Hampton, it said, "photos from years gone by paper the walls. Mr. Brady with [designer Coco] Chanel in Paris, Mr. Brady with a young Brooke Shields in New York, Mr. Brady in combat fatigues in Korea, Mr. Brady with President Bush in Washington."

The Times praised his 1990 memoir on Korea, The Coldest War, as "a superb personal memoir of the way it was. ... What distinguishes Mr. Brady's book is its clarity and modesty; there is no heroic flag-waving here."

He followed it up with a 2000 novel, The Marines of Autumn, and his 2005 The Scariest Place in the World: A Marine Returns to North Korea.

He had become Women's Wear Daily's publisher in 1964. Working with Fairchild Publications chief John Fairchild, he helped make the daily into a publication popular with 1960s fashionistas as well as professionals in the clothing trade.

He jumped to Hearst Corp. in 1971 and was publisher of its fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar.

But many readers knew him best for his contributions at Parade. CEO Walter Anderson said Mr. Brady "was a friend to the 73 million Americans who looked forward to his column each week. ... He will be extraordinarily missed."

His last column will appear Feb. 15. It will feature actor Kevin Bacon.


India's eighth president helped draft country's constitution

Ramaswamy Venkataraman, who was India's eighth president and helped draft the country's constitution, died Tuesday in New Delhi.

Mr. Venkataraman served as president from 1987 to 1992 and before that was the country's vice president. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly that wrote India's constitution, which was adopted in 1950. He was also a member of the country's first Parliament.

"In his passing away, the nation has lost a true patriot and a distinguished luminary," President Pratibha Patil said.

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