Columbia Journalism School

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J-School remembers Prof. Judith Crist '45

November 19, 2012

The J-School community celebrated the life of former Prof. Judith Crist ’45, a renowned film critic and long-time adjunct, in a memorial on Nov. 12, 2012. In more than fifty years teaching, during which she earned the distinction of teaching one course for longer than anyone in J-School history, she was a friend, mentor and inspiration to many. In that spirit, Crist’s friends and family paid homage to her lasting contributions to journalism and their lives.

Speakers included Steven Crist, her son; Jeffrey Richards '71, a theatrical producer and former student; Eve Mayer ’52, a close friend; Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, actors and frequenters of Crist’s famed Survivors’ Bash; and Laurel Holland, her final assistant. Dean Nicholas Lemann provided the evening’s opening remarks. 
 
Upon her death in August, The New York Times’ obituary captured some of Judith’s pioneering accomplishments:
 
“Her commentary had many homes: The New York Herald Tribune, where she was the first woman to be made a full-time critic for a major American newspaper; New York magazine, where she was the founding film critic; and TV Guide, which most defined her to readers. Her reviews appeared there for 22 years at a time when the magazine blanketed the country, reaching a peak readership of more than 20 million.”
 
She also appeared regularly on television as the first regular film critic on NBC’s “Today” show. Crist was the author of three books and winner of a George Polk Award.
 
Judith Crist was recently included in 50 Great Stories, a collection of outstanding work by Columbia journalists compiled for the school’s centennial year, for film reviews that included her favorite, the review of Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra in 1963.

To make a contribution in memory of Judith, please make check payable to Anne O’Hare McCormick Memorial Fund, Inc., noting Judith Crist Scholarship Award in the memo line and send to:
 
Anne O’Hare McCormick Memorial Fund, Inc.
ATTN: Jan Paschal, President
c/o The Newswomen’s Club of New York
15 Gramercy Park S. New York, N.Y. 10003

 

 

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