Joseph Kahn, fifth Jewish patron of the New York Times since 1964

JTA — The New York Times on Tuesday appointed Joseph Kahn as executive director. He is the fifth Jewish journalist to hold the post since it was established in 1964.

Kahn is currently editor of Timesand he was favorite to succeed Dean Baquet, who is retiring at the age of 65, as is the custom in the newspaper.

“Joseph grew up in the Jewish tradition,” his spokesperson, Danielle Rhoades, wrote in an email. “Even though he is not a practicing Jew, he identifies as a Jew. »

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The four Jews who had held the executive director chair in the past were AM Rosenthal (1977-1986), Max Frankel (1986-1994), Joseph Lelyveld (1994-2001, 2003) and Jill Abramson (2011-2014).

Kahn, a Pulitzer Prize winner who earned his foreign correspondent stripes while working for the Dallas Morning Newsin China, during a very turbulent time in the late 1980s and early 1990s, is the son of Leo Kahn, founder of office supplies giant Staples.

Kahn Sr., who also started a chain of health food stores that is part of Whole Foods, was known for his philanthropic work, including his promotion of Holocaust education, according to the eulogy published in the Times in 2011. He was the son of Lithuanian immigrants.

Father and son had attended Harvard and Leo Kahn had earned a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University. the Timescommenting on Kahn’s nomination, noted that the two of them love to “dissect” the media together.

The family is originally from Boston and Leo Kahn’s funeral in 2011 was held at Memorial Church, Harvard Yard.

Joseph Kahn had become a journalist specializing in China, writing articles from the country in the 1990s for the wall street journal and for the Times from the 2000s. His work there in 2006 earned him his second Pulitzer Prize.

Kahn, nicknamed Joe, is close to Baquet who was the very first African-American executive director of the Times. The latter will leave his post on June 14.

the Times belongs to the Ochs-Sulzberger clan. AG Sulzberger, the newspaper’s current owner, announced Kahn’s appointment.

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Joseph Kahn, fifth Jewish patron of the New York Times since 1964