By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 5, 1999
A.M. Rosenthal, the New York Times columnist and former executive editor, has been fired after 56 years with the paper.
"Sweetheart, you can use any word you want," Rosenthal said yesterday from Manhattan, where he was cleaning out his office after writing a final column for today's Times. He said Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., in giving him the news, told him only that "it was time. What that means, I don't know. . . . I didn't expect it at all."
Rosenthal, 77, said he hoped to continue his column for another publication and do other kinds of writing. "Did I expect to write forever?" he asked. "Why not? . . . Hardly a day goes by in New York without somebody coming up and kissing me" in thanks for his column.
While declining to criticize the decision to dump him--"I've always detested people who work for an institution a long time and when they leave, throw up all over it"--Rosenthal made clear he was unhappy. He said he had enjoyed a drink earlier in the day with some colleagues, including his son, Foreign Editor Andrew Rosenthal.
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