Whitelaw Reid (journalist)

Whitelaw Reid (July 26, 1913 – April 18, 2009) was an American journalist who later served as editor, president and chairman of the family-owned New York Herald Tribune. An avid sportsman throughout his life, he won a national singles title in his age group at age 85 and a national doubles title at age 90, both in tennis.

Whitelaw Reid
Born(1913-07-26)July 26, 1913
DiedApril 18, 2009(2009-04-18) (aged 95)
White Plains, New York, U.S.
EducationSt. Paul's School
Alma materYale University
Joan Brandon
(m. 1948; div. 1959)

Elizabeth Ann Brooks
(m. 1959; his death 2009)
Parent(s)Helen Rogers Reid
Ogden Mills Reid
RelativesOgden R. Reid (brother)
Whitelaw Reid (grandfather)

Early lifeEdit

Reid was born to Helen Rogers Reid and Ogden Mills Reid at the family estate, Ophir Hall, in Purchase, New York, on July 26, 1913.[1] He was given the name of his grandfather Whitelaw Reid, who published the newspaper and also served as United States Ambassador to both France and the United Kingdom, as well as being the Republican vice presidential nominee with incumbent President Benjamin Harrison in 1892 (lost). His brother, Ogden R. Reid (b. 1925), was a former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and a four-term United States Representative from New York.[2]

His early education was at the Lincoln School, New York City, New York, and at the St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire. He later attended Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, where he was awarded a degree in sociology in 1936. While in college, he sailed a schooner across the Atlantic Ocean from Norway to the U.S. with a group of his fellow students and was a member of the Conservative Party of the Yale Political Union.[1]


He joined his father's newspaper, the New York Herald Tribune, in 1938, working in the mechanical department, after being trained in printing at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Henrietta, New York, and learning the operation of the firm's Mergenthaler Linotype machines. By 1940, he was a reporter, and spent time in the United Kingdom reporting on World War II during The Blitz and filing reports based on flying with the U.K. Royal Air Force in missions over Europe and on a trawler in the English Channel monitoring for Nazi actions.[1]

He served in the U.S. Navy, commissioned in 1941 as a pilot, spending most of the war transporting Navy planes in the U.S. He was sent to the Pacific Theater in 1945, where his squadron based on Iwo Jima, Japan, performed survey missions off the coast of Japan.[1]

After completing his military service in 1946, Reid returned to the paper as assistant to the editor, and was named editor and vice president after his father's death the following year. He was named editor and president in 1953,[3] and assumed the title of chairman in April 1955,[4] succeeding his mother, at the same time his brother Ogden R. Reid was named as publisher.[1][5] Reid's leadership of the paper saw circulation increase, while journalistic standards declined. A paper that The New York Times described as "a newspaperman's newspaper," staffed by talented reporters, resorted to puzzles and gimmicks to draw readers.

Sale of The New York Herald TribuneEdit

In 1958, Ambassador and investor John Hay Whitney bought the parent company from the Reid family.[6] Whitney instituted a redesign and hired new reporters, but his efforts failed to revive the paper, which succumbed to the effects of strikes and other difficulties when what had become the New York World Journal Tribune ceased publication in 1967.[1][7] The suspension of publication by the World Journal Tribune on May 5, 1967, left New York City with three major daily newspapers — the Daily News, the New York Post and The New York Times — the same papers that have served the city for the succeeding decades.[8]

While with the Herald Tribune, Reid was the president of The Fresh Air Fund, a fundraising effort run through the paper that helped provide summer vacations for underprivileged children living in New York City. After the paper's demise, the program was carried on by The New York Times.[1] Following the closure of the paper, he established Reid Enterprises, serving until 1975 as its president.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1948, was married to Joan Brandon, a student at Barnard College.[9] She was the daughter of Carter Brandon and Dorothy Brandon,[10] a member of the editorial staff at the Herald Tribune.[9] The marriage eventually ended with their divorce in Reno, Nevada, in September 1959, after they had two children together:[11]

  • Brandon Reid (b. 1950),[12] who married Betsy Lipman in 1971.[13][14] They divorced and he later married Diane M. McCabe in 1983.[15]
  • Carson Reid (b. 1952),[16] who married Jeanne Marie Haverbeck in 1982.[17] He later married Tamar Clarke.[1]

After their divorce, Joan married Dr. Bruce B. Grynbaum, a physician and educator.[18] In 1959, he was married to his second wife, the former Elizabeth Ann Brooks.[19] She was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. John Graham Brooks.[20] Together, Elizabeth and Whitelaw had two children, a son and a daughter:[1]

  • John Graham Reid, who married Tracy Hightower.[1]
  • Gina Rogers Reid, who married Christopher Wardenburg Maxmin in 1991.[21]

An avid tennis player for most of his life, Reid won the national indoor singles championship in 1998 for competitors age 85 and older, earning the fourth spot in nationwide rankings in his age group.[1] In September 2003, together with David Carey, he won the United States Tennis Association's national clay-court doubles championship for men over age 90.[1][22] Reid was a pilot, yachtsman, skier, swimmer and rode horses, in addition to his lifelong passion for playing tennis.[1] Ophir Hall, the site of Manhattanville College admissions building, is part of the families former estate in Purchase, New York.

A resident of Bedford Hills, New York, Reid died at age 95 on April 18, 2009 at the White Plains Hospital Center, White Plains, New York, from complications resulting from lung and heart failure.[1]


Through he eldest son Brandon, he was the grandfather of five from Brandon's two marriages (first to Betsy Lipman Lewis and then to Diane Reid), including Whitelaw Reid, Kate Carson Reid Laing and Molly Reid Bevan, and then Jillian Reid and Brittany Reid.[23][24] Through his son, Carson he was the grandfather of four, including Helen Reid and Brandon Reid from his first marriage, Charlie Reid from his second marriage to Tamar Clarke and one child out of wedlock, Jayme Smith. Through his son John, he was the grandfather of Kelby B. Reid and Caitlyn C. Reid and through his son Gina, he was the grandfather of C. Reid Maxmin.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p McFadden, Robert D. "Whitelaw Reid, Heir to New York Herald Tribune, Dies at 95", The New York Times, April 19, 2009. Accessed April 21, 2009.
  2. ^ "REID, Ogden Rogers - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  3. ^ "HERALD TRIBUNE ELECTS; W. E. Robinson Named Publisher -- Whitelaw Reid Is President". The New York Times. 15 May 1953. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  4. ^ "HERALD TRIBUNE SHIFTS OFFICERS; Ogden Reid Made Publisher-- --Brother, Whitelaw, Succeeds Mother as Chairman". The New York Times. 9 April 1955. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  5. ^ Staff. "HERALD TRIBUNE SHIFTS OFFICERS; Ogden Reid Made Publisher; Brother, Whitelaw, Succeeds Mother as Chairman", The New York Times, April 9, 1955. Accessed April 21, 2009.
  6. ^ "Statements on Tribune". The New York Times. 29 August 1958. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  7. ^ Freeman, Ira Henry. "Control of The Herald Tribune Passes From Reid Family to Ambassador Whitney; HISTORY OF PAPER SPANS GREAT ERAS Greeley and Elder Bennett Left a Mark on Press in Its Early Days", The New York Times, August 29, 1958. Accessed April 21, 2009.
  8. ^ Kihss, Peter. "World Journal Tribune Dies, Leaving 3 Major Dailies Here; World Journal Tribune The World Journal Tribune Dies, Leaving Three Major Daily Newspapers in City CLOSING OF PAPER SHOCKS EMPLOYEES Afternoon Publication Cites Losses Averaging $700,000 a Month 2,600 Idled", The New York Times, May 6, 1967. Accessed April 21, 2009.
  9. ^ a b "STUDENT ENGAGED TO WHITELAW REID; Miss Joan Brandon of Barnard Will be Married to Editor of The Herald Tribune". The New York Times. 22 March 1948. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Dorothy Brandon, at 78, An Award‐Winning Writer Of the Herald Tribune". The New York Times. 18 June 1977. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Whitelaw Reid Divorced". The New York Times. 9 September 1959. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Mrs. Whitelaw Reid Has Son". The New York Times. 27 February 1950. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Betsy Lipman, Brndon Reid To Be Married". The New York Times. 10 September 1970. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Betsy Lipman Bride of Brandon Reid". The New York Times. 3 June 1971. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Diane M. McCabe Is Married in Rye". The New York Times. 9 October 1983. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Son to Mrs. Whitelaw Reid". The New York Times. 20 June 1952. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  17. ^ "Miss Haverbeck Becomes Bride Of Carson Reid". The New York Times. 7 March 1982. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths GRYNBAUM, BRUCE B., M.D." The New York Times. 27 May 2001. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Whitelaw Reid, Ex-Edltor, to Wed Elizabeth Brooks; Director of The Herald Tribune and Aide of Foundation Engaged". The New York Times. 27 October 1959. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  20. ^ "Whitelaw Reid And Miss Brooks Wed in Suburb; Herald Tribune Officer Married at Church in New Rochelle". The New York Times. 15 November 1959. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Gina Reid Weds Christopher Maxmin". The New York Times. 19 May 1991. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  22. ^ 2003 Amateur Championships, United States Tennis Association. Accessed April 21, 2009.
  23. ^ "WEDDINGS; Kate Reid, Matthew Laing". The New York Times. 7 July 2002. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  24. ^ "Molly Reid and Terry Bevan". The New York Times. 7 August 2005. Retrieved 28 November 2017.