Harold Hornstein dies; veteran Connecticut journalist
Published 10:13 am, Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Harold Hornstein, 90, a long-time Easton resident and veteran Connecticut journalist, died Jan. 1, 2011, in Cheshire at the home of his daughter, Deborah Alexander Hereld.
He worked at several of the state's largest newspapers over the course of his long -- and honored -- career, including the New Haven Register and the Bridgeport Post, as well as weekly publications such as the Westport News and Fairfield Citizen-News.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he graduated from Brooklyn College at the beginning of World War II. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army and served four years in Europe in an anti-aircraft gun crew. After the war, he attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism on the GI Bill, graduating with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
His first job was as an investigative reporter with the Columbus, Ga., Enquirer, where he covered Phoenix City, Al., known at the time as "Sin City." Returning north, he served as news editor of the Westport Town Crier, and as county and assistant city editor of the Bridgeport Post (now the Connecticut Post).
He retired after an 18-year career as editorial writer for the New Haven Register, where he also wrote the weekly feature "Our Connecticut." He was the editor of the 1976 book, "New Haven Celebrates the Bicentennial," published by the New Haven Colony Historical Society.
After retiring from the Register, Hornstein worked as a reporter for the Westport News and Fairfield Citizen-News.
"In the five years that I worked with Harold when I was editor of the Westport News (1992-97)," said Woody Klein, a former Westport News editor, "I viewed him as far the most professional and most objective newsman I had working for me. I held him in high esteem. He was a great journalist from the old school. He was an inspiration to all of us. My condolences to his wife, Pat."
Patricia A. Hines, the former longtime editor of the Fairfield Citizen-News, echoed similar sentiments.
Hornstein, she said, "worked for me as a part-time reporter covering Easton. Even though he had covered some of the best, most hard-hitting stories of his long career, he was just as happy to report on his hometown. He was a consummate professional, and loved to tell stories about his career and the people he covered.
"He was the last of a generation of journalists who my generation of journalists looked up to. He was a wonderful person," Hines said.
Inducted into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame, he received awards for his reporting and editorial writing, including the Stephen Collins Public Service Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a national Meeman Award for writing about land conservation and farm preservation.
He was also an avid sports fan and liked music of many genres, in addition to his lifelong enthusiasm for the newspaper business.
Besides his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 56 years, Patricia Hubbell of Easton; a son, Jeffrey Hornstein of New York City; three granddaughters, Megan Alexander, Shoshana and Shira Hereld, all of Cheshire; a niece, Wendy Miller of Florida, and his daughter's companion, Bradford Rickerby.
A gathering celebrating Hornstein's life will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Easton Public Library, 691 Morehouse Road, corner of Center Road, Easton. There are no calling hours, and burial will be held at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104, or at www.splcenter.org. The Alderson Funeral Home of Cheshire is assisting with arrangements. For more information or online condolences, visit www.aldersonfuneralhomes.com.