Ethel Goldblatt, who worked at Women’s Wear Daily for 40 years, died on Tuesday at the age of 95 in Glen Cove, N.Y.
Goldblatt was the third of four children born to Russian immigrants Morris and Emma Goldblatt in Washington, D.C., but grew up in Brooklyn, where she attended James Madison High School. She lived in Rego Park, Queens, for most of her life, and worked as a secretary at the department store S. Klein in Manhattan, then the furniture company Peck and Hill and Hoffman Motors. In 1962, she began working at Women’s Wear Daily, first as secretary to the editor in chief, Earl Dash; in 1970, she became the secretary to the editors at the City Desk, a position she held until she retired in 2002.
Her two older brothers, Ben and Harry Goldblatt, were both executives with the lingerie company Exquisite Form, and Ethel loved fashion, too. She “was energized and felt a part of it in her job at the City Desk,” said her niece, Madelyn Etkind. And she was devoted to her work. “She was there for me, and for anyone else who asked her for something,” Mort Sheinman, a former managing editor of WWD who was her colleague for decades, noted. “No one, not a single soul, was as fiercely protective of ‘her’ editorial staff as Ethel.”
Goldblatt married Leonard Reimer in 1945, but the union lasted only a few months. She was, however, the Dolly Levi of her immediate family: According to Etkind, she fixed up all three of her siblings with the people who became their lifelong spouses. She liked to vacation in the Catskills and was passionate about cats, opera and “Dancing With the Stars.” She was game enough, when asked, to pose for a photo as WWD’s elusive correspondent Countess Louise J. Esterhazy, shot from the back.
Goldblatt is survived by her younger sister, Helen Drell, and nieces and nephews Aviva Gold; Ellen, Terri, Marc and Lee Goldblatt; Sharon and Robert Drell, and Etkind.