October 11, 2003 by

Don Sider


Categories: Media, Writers/Editors

Don Sider, a veteran journalist, died on Oct. 8 from heart disease. He was 70.
Sider began his journalism career at the St. Petersburg Times. After covering the Vietnam War, he helped found Money and People magazines.
Sider was named deputy bureau chief of Time’s Washington bureau in 1975. He remained with the magazine for 12 years, then moved to West Palm Beach where he worked as a correspondent for People. Last month, he was arrested on suspicion of criminal trespassing for snooping on actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez at their Georgia estate.
Sider’s will calls for a sky diving party to mark his death. His estate plans to pay for his ashes to be dumped out of a plane at 12,500 feet. The sky divers who conduct the service will then be treated to four cases of beer.

5 Responses to Don Sider

  1. ariel peeri

    what a beautiful mind and a wonderful daring man; we met in new york many years ago while working on a new publication, and kept in touch for the next few years, and when it became our turn to move to florida I called him up and asked for the inside scoop of Pensacola, where he did cover a story about a slained doctor who performed abortions; he replied that if I don’t mind red necks and dont mind getting into religious arguments, than this is the perfect place for us… I will miss him, I only found out in February 2005 while looking searching Google for his mailing address to invite him for my son’s bar mitzvah.

  2. Bill Powers

    I sit here saddend after finding out just now that Mr Don Sider has passed away. I met Don in nineteen seventy. He was sent by Time inc. to set up Pioneer Press weekly newspapers in the Chicago area. Biggest weekly in the nation at the time. He had covered Veitnam and was highly thought of by the 101rst for his reportage. When we found a story that was worth doing he would say “Run with it” and back you to the hilt. He hired me and I was there twenty years as a photoj. We never had anybody after that we could trust as we did Don. We missed him in the years to follow. RIP. 30

  3. Bill Buck

    Don was my mentor, colleague,friend, and best man,from the early days. We met in 1959 when I was a college intern in the Poynter Fund Scholarship Program at the St. Petersburg Times. We spent seven years working together, the first three of which were during the summers when I was an intern. Following graduation, I joined Don as design and production coordinator, and book section editor for the Newsfeatures Department at the Times.
    I knew Don as a fastidious, marvellously hilarious, and kind man. He always carried his 18-inch pica stick to the composing room like a field marshal. Every day before lunch he would wash his hands and do the same upon our return–a lot of kidding about guilt complexes. He and his wife ‘Max’ made me feel welcome in their home with their two young sons, and introduced me to the music of his college friend Jerry Herman, before he wrote Hello, Dolly and Mame.
    Most every day was a pleasure to go to work because of the inimitable characters who peopled our area which included the women’s-society section staff. But it was the knowledge that Don would teach me something about editing and design and that we would share many humorous moments involving everything from puns, observations of human frailties, including our own, or mimicry, for which he gave me too much credit as a master.
    At about the time they welcomed their daughter into the family, I received a fellowship and returned to university life. He left the Times and we lost touch; the only time I saw him after that was when he appeared on Meet the Press as a panelist at the time he was Time Mag’s Pentagon correspondent.
    I was more saddened to learn of his passing than that of most others in my life.

  4. Cheryl Harrison

    Don hired me to write for Florida Real Estate magazine and recommended me to People Magazine’s Miami Bureau Chief, then Meg Grant, who hired me as a stringer. I’m not even sure what decade that was, now, but I’ll never forget Don as a fabulously supportive editor with a deep voice (perfect for radio, I always thought…); a great sense of humor; and a fanatical love of skydiving. It was a joy to work with him. Although I was shocked and saddened to learn he had passed, I smiled when I read his instructions for his “memorial service.” Way to go, Don. 🙂

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