Betsy Wade, First Woman to Edit News at The Times, Dies at 91

The Times agreed to place more women in jobs ranging from entry level to top management, and to create annuities covering costs of “delayed career advancement or denied opportunity.” But it did not grant raises or admit any violations of law. James C. Goodale, The Times’s executive vice president at the time, called the paper’s voluntary affirmative action program “one of the strongest in the country.”

Ms. Wade countered: “If Judge Werker is now able to say that The Times has progressed in affirmative action, it is our suit that compelled this. The paper began to move toward our goals when the suit went to court, and the women who have been hired since are aware of this.”

Elizabeth Wade was born in Manhattan on July 18, 1929, to Sidney and Elizabeth (Manning) Wade. Her father was an executive with Union Carbide. Seeking better schools for Betsy and her younger sister, the family moved to suburban Bronxville, N.Y., in 1934.

Envisioning a journalism career, Betsy worked for student newspapers at Bronxville High School, from which she graduated in 1947, and Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She transferred to Barnard College in Manhattan in 1949, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1951. A year later, she received a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.

In 1952, she married Mr. Boylan, who founded The Columbia Journalism Review in 1961. They had two sons, Richard and Benjamin. They survive her, along with six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Ms. Wade began her journalism career on The Herald Tribune’s women’s page. After her dismissal, she wrote for the Newspaper Enterprise Association from 1954 to 1956, when she joined The Times. In 1978, she was elected to a four-year term as president of the New York Newspaper Guild.

In 1987, after three decades as a copy editor, she took over The Times’s Practical Traveler column, and for 14 years, until her retirement in 2001, wrote weekly tips-for-travelers articles. A collection of her columns, “The New York Times Practical Traveler Handbook,” was published in 1994.

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