Charles S. Zack, Retired Editor, Dies Here at 51

by Laurel | December 5th, 2011

Some of you will be familiar with the book Charles S. Zack is known for — Holyoke in The Great War (shown in the partial cover image, below), sad he died so young. I’ve owned this book for a long time, so imagine my surprise when — about ten years ago — I learned about connections with Zack to my own extended family genealogy on my paternal side all via the Crean / Gow lines (families from South Hadley and Holyoke). Expect the unexpected in genealogy research!

Holyoke in the Great War, by Charles S. Zack

Holyoke in the Great War, by Charles S. Zack

05 December 1942

Veteran Newspaperman Had Been On Daily News and Republican and Other New England Papers.

Charles S. Zack, 51, former news editor of The Daily News, died early last night at his home, 63 Dickinson Street after a long illness. He was widely known in the newspaper fraternity, having worked in various capacities on a number of newspapers and trade publications. At one time he was managing editor of the New London (CT) Day and previous to that had served as assistant city editor of The Springfield Republican.

Ill health forced Mr. Zack to retire from active newspaper work in May, 1941. He returned to his desk for a short time in the fall of that year, but a recurrence of his illness made it necessary for hi to go to El Paso, TX, for his health. Failing to recover there, he returned to this city and had been confined to his home ever since.

Worked in Many Cities

Born at Coney Island, New York, August 1, 1891, the son of Anna (Gordon) Zack and the late Meyer H. Zack, re received his education in New York and Massachusetts schools. He entered newspaper work upon his graduation from high school.

His work took him into nearly every city in New England at one tie or another, as a result of which he had acquired a host of friends, some of whom are nationally known columnists. During more than 30 years in which he worked, first as a reporter and later in various editorial capacities, he “covered” some of the biggest stores that made newspaper headlines in those days.

He “broke” into newspaper work on the Attleboro Sun as a reporter, covering everything from church and society news to police and the department activities. From Attleboro he went to the Waterbury Herald, the Holyoke Telegram and the old Northampton Herald. While a reported on the latter paper, he married Miss Mary V. Crean, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James J. Crean of South Hadley, on February 12, 1917. Mr. and Mrs. Zack observed their 25th wedding anniversary quietly at their Dickinson Street home last February.

Wrote Holyoke History

Shortly after his marriage, Mr. Zack went to work for the Holyoke Transcript as a reporter assigned to cover Camp Bartlett in Westfield during the hectic days of World War I. During that time he wrote and had published one of the few histories of a city in that war. It was entitled “Holyoke in the Great War.” In it was embodies a history of the city of Holyoke and all the men and women from that city who were in the armed serviced or who helped to keep the lifelines to France open in the merchant service.

After the war, Mr. Zack joined the staff of The Republican as assistant city editor. His next move was to the Providence (RI) Journal. From there he went to New London to assume the managing editorship of the New London Day.

Resigning from that post, he went to New York city to join the publicity staff of Fox Films, Inc., in those early days of motion pictures before Hollywood had attained the fame it now holds. After leaving the motion picture business because it lacked the “thrills” of newspaper work, he became picture editor of the old New York Graphic and later went to the Hudson Dispatch at Hudson City, NJ, as city editor.

Returned Here in 1935

While on the Hudson Dispatch, he received an offer to become merchandising editor of the Automotive Daily News, a trade journal, and accepted. A desire to return to newspaper work again prompted him to move to the New York Journal-American. In 1935 he returned to Springfield to join the staff at The Daily News as assistant news editor, a position he held at the time of his retirement.

Besides his widow,y he leave three sons, Albert J. Zack, a copy editor on The Daily News; Staff Sergt. James G. Zack of the United States Army Air Corps, stationed in Australia; Sergt. Eugene C. Zack of the army, now in Africa; four daughters, Mrs. Marcus A. Fuller, Jr., of Wilmington, DE; Miss Madeline D. Zack, emploed at the Eastern States Farmers’ Exchange, and Clare R. and Carol R. Zack; twins, who attend Holy Name School; a granddaughter, Linda Jane, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Zack; his mother Anna G. Zack of Jersey City, NJ; four sisters, Mrs. Sam Nelson and Miss Flo R. Zack, both of New Jersey; Mrs. Louise Sallet of Hollywood, CA; and Mrs. Katherine O’Donnell of Boston, and a brother Gene M. Zack of New Jersey.

The funeral will be held at the Hafey funeral home probably Monday morning with a high mass of requiem following in Holy Name Church.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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