James Brady (columnist)

James Winston Brady
Born (1928-11-15)November 15, 1928
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn
Died January 26, 2009(2009-01-26) (aged 80)
Manhattan, New York City
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 19491953
Rank First Lieutenant
Unit 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines
Battles/wars Korean War
Awards Bronze Star W/ combat "V"
Purple Heart
Other work Columnist & author

James Winston Brady (November 15, 1928 January 26, 2009)[1] was an American celebrity columnist who created the Page Six gossip column in the New York Post and W magazine; he wrote the In Step With column in Parade for nearly 25 years until his death.[2] He wrote several books related to war, particularly the Korean War, in which he served as a United States Marine Corps officer.


Early years and military service

Brady was born in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.[3] His career in journalism started working as a copy boy for the Daily News, where he worked while attending Manhattan College.[4] He graduated in 1950.[5] He left the paper to serve in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War.[4] During the war, he was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines first leading a rifle platoon and later acting as an executive officer of a rifle company at one point serving under John Chafee. The majority of his service took place in the North Korean Taebaek Mountains during the fall and bitterly cold winter of 1951 and 1952. During this time he was also promoted to First Lieutenant. Brady was awarded the Bronze Star with the Combat V (recognizing an award resulting from combat heroism) in November 2001 for his actions on May 31, 1952 in a firefight with Chinese forces near Panmunjom.[2]

Writing career

Brady wrote extensively about his experiences as a Marine in Korea, including his 1990 autobiography, The Coldest War, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.[3] Other books include the 2003 novel The Marine, as well as the non-fiction books The Scariest Place in the World published in 2005 and the 2007 book Why Marines Fight.[2] Over the years, Brady spoke to groups of veterans about what he described as a "forgotten war", one where he went to Korea as an immature 23-year-old, and "Nine months later when I left, I was a grown-up and a pretty good Marine officer."[3] Hero of the Pacific: The Life of Legendary Marine John Basilone, about a Marine who was awarded the Medal of Honor recipient for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal, was completed days before Brady's death.[4]

Brady also wrote novels about the fashion and media worlds that provided an insider's insights, including Paris One, Designs and The Press Lord.

He was hired as publisher of Women's Wear Daily in 1964, recrafting the publication to reach out to both the clothing industry and the general public, and creating W, a fashion magazine aimed at the consumer spun off from WWD.[2] He was named as editor and publisher of Harper's Bazaar in 1971, where his efforts to aim the publication at a younger audience led to his early termination.[4] His experiences in fashion publishing provided input for his 1974 book Superchic about the industry, described in a review in The Washington Post as "his revenge on the fashion world, a way to settle scores with two former employers".[4][6]

Clay Felker, publisher of New York magazine, hired Brady to create its Intelligencer column.[4] Rupert Murdoch hired Brady in 1974 to serve as editor of his new weekly tabloid Star, a magazine specializing in celebrity gossip and scandals. Murdoch shifted Brady to the New York Post after he bought the paper in 1976, where Brady was a major participant in the creation of Page Six, a celebrity news and gossip column, giving the column its name and serving as the column's first editor.[2][4]

Brady added to his workload with an Advertising Age column that was started in 1977 and another column included in Crain's New York Business when that publication was created in 1984.[4]

He wrote the In Step With celebrity profile column in Parade starting in 1986 and continuing until his death.[4][7] His final column, a profile of actor Kevin Bacon, appeared in the February 15, 2009 issue.[4]


He received the W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction from the American Library Association in 2003 for his novel Warning of War.[8]


Brady died at age 80 on January 26, 2009 at his home in Manhattan. A cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but Brady had suffered a stroke several years before his death.[4] He was survived by his wife (the former Florence Kelly, whom he married in 1958), two daughters (including author Susan Konig), four grandchildren and brother Monsignor Tom Brady who died March 28, 2013.[4][9]


See also


  1. Perry, Tony (28 January 2009). "James Brady dies at 80; Parade magazine columnist, prolific author". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 January 2009.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Staff (January 27, 2009). "PARADE Mourns The Passing of Long-Time Contributor James Brady". Parade. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  3. 1 2 3 Gay, Verne (January 28, 2009). "Prolific writer, publisher and Hamptons fixture James Brady". Newsday. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Grimes, William. "James Brady, Columnist Chronicling the Power Elite, Dies at 80", The New York Times, January 29, 2009. Accessed January 29, 2009.
  5. http://www.jasperjottings.com/2009/jasperjottings2009W05.html#mozTocId84386
  6. Smyth, Jeannette. "Of Gossip Past and 'Superchic'", The Washington Post, November 27, 1974. Accessed January 29, 2009.
  7. Bernstein, Adam (January 29, 2009). "Diverse Author Profiled Celebrities in Parade Magazine". Washington Post. p. B5.
  8. http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/2/all_years Boyd Award Recipients List
  9. http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2013/03/good-shepherds-monsignor-thomas-brady-passes-away-after-bout-with-cancer/
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