Ed Gold, a 40-year veteran of Fairchild Publications, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 84 years old. The cause of death was heart failure, said a member of Community Board 2, where Gold was an active member.
Gold joined Fairchild in 1951 as a reporter for WWD, covering sales promotions and branch stores. He spent seven years as the fur editor then covered general news. When John B. Fairchild returned to New York in 1960 after living in Paris, he wanted to jazz up the paper with snappily written stories about controversial subjects, which he called Eye. Fairchild enlisted Gold to write the first Eye piece about Vogue. Gold uncovered nuggets of information, such as that, between 1958 and 1960, Vogue went from a $24,000 loss to a $6 million profit. Gold continued to write Eye pieces, which evolved to the society, celebrity and cultural coverage that is the page today.
After 15 years in WWD’s editorial department, Gold became manager of Fairchild Books, a position he held for 25 years. When Gold took over the department, it wasn’t making a profit and published “vanity” publications. Gold found a niche in the fashion education market and moved the business into the black.
Gold retired from Fairchild in 1991, but he didn’t stop working. He was a contributor and wrote a column for the Villager, a local downtown newspaper. Publisher and editor John W. Sutter said Gold’s last piece appeared within the last two months. “He had a great understanding of the way this city is wired,” Sutter said. “He understood the swirl of contentiousness. Our paper benefited.”
Gold was a founding member and former president of the Village Independent Democrats, served on Community Board 2 since 1967 and taught a course at The New School entitled “How to Beat City Hall.”
Gold has no survivors. Friends said a memorial service will be held at New York University. No date has been set.