While no longer a household name, Newman was lauded as one of the best newsmen not only of his era, but of all time.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Newman also was renowned for his theater reviews and cultural criticism. Appointed drama critic for NBC in 1965, he delivered capsule reviews of Broadway plays. His sardonic wit and incisive analyses rankled some: Producer David Merrick barred him from his productions after Newman panned one of his shows.
Yet the “ban” only increased Newman’s cache as a critic, and he won an Emmy in 1966 for his drama criticism. He was subsequently named critic-at-large for NBC, reviewing plays, performers and films, and he conducted interviews with such arts luminaries as Peter Ustinov and Andres Segovia.
“Ed Newman was never preachy or pedantic,” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said in a statement. “He was approachable, elegant and precise. He was a teacher, a broadcaster and above all a superb journalist. To those of us watching at home, he made us feel like we had a very smart, classy friend in the broadcast news business.” Via Hollywood Reporter
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Edwin Harold Newman was born in New York on Jan. 25, 1919, and majored in political science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison while writing for the university’s stridently political newspaper, the Daily Cardinal. Obtaining his bachelor of arts degree in 1940, Newman entered graduate school at Louisiana State but left after a semester, taking a civil service post in Washington. However, the bureaucratic routine bored him, and he rekindled a boyhood dream — to become a newspaperman.