Isadore Barmash, a journalist who spent much of his career covering the ins and outs of the retail industry, died Thursday.

Barmash worked as a reporter and editor at Women's Wear Daily in the Fifties and early Sixties and was a longtime business reporter for The New York Times. He was also a prolific author of business books.

He died of complications from bladder cancer at the Margaret Tietz hospice in Jamaica, N.Y., at the age of 84, confirmed a spokeswoman for the Times.

According to information from one of his books, 2005's "Fashion, Retailing and a Bygone Era: Inside Women's Wear Daily — A Look Back," on which he collaborated with six other former WWD editors, Barmash, a native of Philadelphia, served with the U.S. Army in the Pacific from 1942 through 1945. In 1947, he joined WWD parent Fairchild Publications in its Philadelphia bureau as a reporter, becoming bureau chief three years later. In 1951, he was appointed chief of Fairchild's central copy desk, and in 1959, was named WWD's managing editor.

In 1960, he was appointed editor in chief of Home Furnishing Daily, one of Fairchild's trade publications. He left the company in 1962 to became staff business writer for the New York Herald Tribune and in 1965, joined The New York Times, where he worked until his retirement in 1991.

After leaving the Times, he continued to write freelance articles and lecture about the retail industry.

Among his other books were "The Chief Executives," "Macy's For Sale," "Welcome to Our Conglomerate — You're Fired," "A Not So Tender Offer: An Insider's Look at Mergers and Acquisitions," "The Barmash Bible," "More Than They Bargained For: The Rise and Fall of Korvettes," "The Self-Made Man: Success and Stress-American Style," and "Net Net: A Novel About the Discount Store Game."

Barmash is survived by his wife, Sarah; four children, Elaine Charnow of Jericho, N.Y., Pamela Barmash, of St. Louis, Marilyn Weinberger, of Livingston, N.J., Stanley Barmash, of Clayton, Del., and four grandchildren.

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