Martin Buskin, Education Editor, Dies at 45
Newsday, Feb. 9, 1976
By Susan Page
Commack – Martin buskin, 45, Newsday’s education editor for 14 years and a journalist for nearly a quarter-century, died of a heart attack at his home yesterday.
On Friday, Buskin did some reporting on a story he had planned to write today on school busing across the United States. On Saturday night, he went to a party and danced for hours. At his home, he had a heart attack at about 3:30 AM. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Huntington Hospital.
Buskin taught journalism at the State University at Stony Brook and wrote books and magazine articles. He had received dozens of awards for his education reporting.
Buskin was born in Brooklyn, and at the age of 11 he was editor of the Highway Herald, a mimeographed paper at his elementary school, P.S. 238. He graduated from James Madison High School in 1947 and from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1951. He joined the Army in 1951 and was sent to Korea as a military policeman.
Buskin worked for a news wire service, Trans-Radio Press, now defunct, then joined Newsday in 1953 as a general assignment reporter. In 1955, he became a copy editor, and in 1959, he became feature copy editor, responsible for a daily feature page and the political, entertainment and education pages. He succeeded Arnold Brophy as education editor in 1962.
Buskin, a large man who almost always had a pipe in his mouth, was a familiar figure to state and local educators, and to parents as well. “He was like an agency,” said Sylvia Carter, who worked with him daily on the education beat. “People would call him to ask what school district to move to, or for advice on the smallest problems with their schools. He would spend hours dealing with them, with utter patience.”
Buskin won national awards from the Education Writers Association, the National Council for the Advancement of Education Writing, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He was a past president of the Education Writers Association and a member of the executive committee of the National Council for the Advancement of Education Writing.
For years, he had written a weekly opinion column on education for Newsday, and in 1968, he co-authored a children’s book, “Great Names in Sport.” Last year, his book “Parent Power” was published.
Ewald Nyquist, state education commissioner, said, “I regard him as one of the best education writers anywhere.” Albert Shanker, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said, “He was a brilliant education editor, not only on Long Island but in terms of national issues.” Ernest Boyer, State University chancellor, said, “Marty was fair and perceptive, and yet diligent and probing in his search for news. I am distressed to hear of his passing, and the entire education world will be enormously diminished by the loss.”
“Marty Buskin’s sudden death is staggering loss personally, to Newsday and to Long Island,” said David Laventhol, editor of Newsday. “Educational expertise and journalistic dedication combined to make him an irreplaceable source of knowledge and wisdom about the subject he cared so much about.”
Buskin is survived by his wife, Saundra, a nurse at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Northport; two daughters, Linda, 14, a junior at Commack High School South, and Randi, 13, an eighth-grader at Green Meadows Junior High School; and a sister, Sharon Schnabel of Rochester. Services today in Forest Hills; burial in Long Island National Cemetery, Pinelawn.