Alum named New York Times Magazine editor

Andrea Wilson

One of the top names in national journalism began his writing career here at the University and now holds one of the most esteemed positions in the industry.

This month, Gerald Marzorati ’75 was named editor of the New York Times Magazine.

Marzorati graduated with honors from the University with a degree in humanities in 1975. He then moved to New York, and after a brief period at New York University he took a job at the SoHo News, an alternative newspaper that highlighted the arts scene. He worked there until it went out of business in 1982. Throughout the ’80s Marzorati served as assistant editor at Harper’s Magazine, and in 1993, he began work at the New Yorker, covering the “Talk of the Town” section and editing nonfiction.

He then began work at the New York Times. Over the course of his nine-year career at the paper, Marzorati has covered popular music, and since 1998 has served as articles editor at the Magazine, editing longer cover articles. On Sept. 2, he was promoted to the top position at the Magazine.

Marzorati’s enthusiasm for being an editor is centered on his ability to focus on what’s interesting to him.

“You get to live your life as a non-specialist,” he said of his job.

“As with any journalism job, you very much live intensely in the present moment. You live more intensely than most people who are alive.”

Though he began pursuing work in journalism shortly after graduation, Marzorati did not know where his career would lead during college.

“I never thought about what I wanted to do with my life, unlike today’s generation,” he said. “I didn’t really have a career path, but I knew that I wanted to do something interesting.”

Marzorati said his passion for magazines sparked his interest in journalism.

“It was exciting to me – that moment in the late ’60s, when the new journalism was tackling serious subjects and being artistically experimental. It captured my personal imagination.”

Marzorati grew up in Haledon, N.J. The first of his Italian-American family to attend college, he was unsure of himself when he started at the University.

“I was very caught up in the ’60s,” he said. “Not that I was a radical, but Villanova was in many ways more conservative than that.”

Marzorati soon found, however, that the University was an intimate campus where he felt very comfortable.

“I began as an outsider, but I have a very warm place in my heart for Villanova. It was a place between where I was from and where I was going.”

Marzorati said one English professor, Dr. June Lytel-Murphy, was “enormously important to me.” In reading the novels of New Jersey native Philip Roth in her class, he began to discover his love of reading, a passion that has continued through his career. Lytel-Murphy has since retired.

“Gerry has been a terrific partner in making the New York Times Magazine an essential news magazine of ideas,” Adam Moss, assistant managing editor for features at the New York Times, said.  “He has an uncanny command of the medium and has been particularly responsible for making the Times Magazine a home to some of the finest journalists in the business.”

The New York Times Magazine is distributed with the Sunday edition of the New York Times, the largest-selling Sunday newspaper in the nation. An average of over 1.7 million copies of the Sunday paper are sold each week around the world.