By Ayala Ben-Yehuda and Alex Ginsberg
Howard Girsky, a reporter and senior editor of The Queens Courier for seven years, died Feb. 13.
His family could not be reached for comment, but a former co-worker said he believed Girsky was 70.
Girsky, a Kew Gardens resident, had a career in journalism and public relations that spanned several decades.
At The Courier, he specialized in writing about medical issues, especially as they related to seniors.
“He broke the story that in Queens County there was a hepatitis epidemic,” said Victoria Schneps, the newspaper’s publisher.
“It was his coverage that alerted our readers to the dangers of the disease. That’s one simple example of his powerful reporting,” said Schneps, who said Girsky had died as a result of a burst aorta.
Schneps said Girsky, a military veteran, had been buried at Calverton Cemetery.
“Howard approached his job with the enthusiasm of a cub reporter and was the fastest writer in any newsroom,” said Raphael Sugarman, former editor-in-chief of The Courier.
“His ability to cover any beat, from cops and feature stories to editorials and breaking news, made him invaluable to any editor,” said Sugarman.
Girsky was known in the newsroom for his attention to world issues, especially his strong opposition to a possible war in Iraq. A voracious reader, he would often come to work in the morning with politics on his mind and enjoyed discussing the news of the day with his co-workers.
“What the reporters who worked with him will miss most about Howard is his ready smile, corny witticisms and the pride he regularly espoused for his children and grandchildren,” said Sugarman.
Girsky is survived by his wife Paula, a daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and other relatives.
Reach reporter Ayala Ben-Yehuda by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 146.