University of Vermont

University Communications

Alumnus Donald Forst Was a Leader in Journalism Ranks

Donald Forst, Class of 1954, one of the nation’s top newspaper editors throughout his long career, passed away on January 4. New York Newsday, The Village Voice, The Boston Herald, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Herald Examiner were among the newsrooms Forst helped lead in an editorial career that began when he signed on with the Vermont Cynic, the University of Vermont’s student newspaper.

Newsday won a number of Pulitzers during Forst’s years with the paper, including one for its coverage of a major subway train crash in 1991. UVM alumnus Tony Marro, Class of 1965, was a colleague at Newsday and would himself go on to the top editorial position at that paper. In a 2000 profile of Forst in Vermont Quarterly Magazine, Marro remembered their days working together: “Don was very good at mobilizing the troops. He has a lot of drive, imagination and energy, and he loves taking a small group of people who have allegiance to him and sending them out to chase down the best stories. He’s the kind of editor who wakes up in the morning and thinks, ‘What’s the front page going to be?’”

Read more about the life and career of Donald Forst:

New York Times obituary

Vermont Quarterly profile