| Allan Matthew Lazarus
(Shreveport Times journalist,
|Born|| November 21, 1927 |
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Resident of Shreveport, Louisiana
|Died|| May 18, 2020 (aged 92) |
|Spouse|| Martha Elizabeth Ellis Lazarus (married 1946-2017, her death)|
|Religion|| Roman Catholic
The name Lazarus is Hebrew in origin, meaning "God has helped." He was born in New Orleans to Harry Adolph Lazarus, Sr. (1896-1972), and the former Edna M. Wodiker (1899-1988). His grandfather, Solomon Lazarus (1851-1926), who died a year before Allan was born, is interred at Judah Cemetery in New Orleans.
Lazarus moved to Shreveport in 1934 with his parents and brother, Harry Lazarus, Jr. (1920-2016), who became a decorated United States Army lieutenant colonel and a Shreveport real estate broker. Lazarus graduated from the former Fair Park High School in 1944 and from the private Centenary College of Louisiana in 1951, both institutions located in Shreveport. From 1946 to 1947, he served in the Army Air Corps, forerunner of the Air Force.
Lazarus joined The Shreveport Times in 1944 as 17-year-old copy boy and retired in 1992 at the age of sixty-four as the managing editor. Before the editorship, he had worked as a reporter, copy editor, sportswriter, telegraph editor, and news editor. He was a former president of the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Association and a board member of the AP Managing Editors Association. He was a charter member and president of the ArkLaTex chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, later named the Society of Professional Journalists. In 1967, he began writing "A Nit-Picker's Notebook," a critique indicating spelling, grammar, and style errors for the staff. In I982, "A Nit-Picker's Notebook" became a regular column in The Times and ran until 2014, long after Lazarus had retired.
Judy Christie, a former Times editor called Lazarus "the finest wordsmith I ever knew and an editor until the very end. He said his interest in grammar and typos began at birth when his first name was misspelled ... on his birth certificate.. Kathie Coffey Rowell, a former Times features editor, said that Lazarus "wanted your best, but he got it by coaching, not criticizing. One of the most important things I learned from him - details count, no matter how small."
Lazarus recalled V-J Day in September 1945, when The Times published a rare extra edition. As a copy boy a the time, Lazarus passed by Dodd College (now the First Baptist Church School) and saw a newsboy selling the extra papers. Lazarus bought all the papers available and distributed then at Dodd College. As the news editor in July 1969, he came into the office from his vacation to write the head line of Neil Armstrong's walk on the surface of the moon. He noted that Armstrong mistakenly left out the article "a" when he said "one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind."
In his later years, Lazarus wrote poetry which he sent to former staffers. Lazarus was predeceased by his wife of seventy-one years, the former Martha Elizabeth Ellis (1928-2017), a native of Rankin County, Mississippi, who like her husband had also moved to Shreveport in 1934. The couple had two children, Kenneth Wayne Lazarus (born 1949) and Virginia Lynn Lazarus (born 1953). Lazarus died at the age of ninety-two. His funeral mass was held at the Roman Catholic St. Johns Berchmans Cathedral, with Father Duane Trombetta officiating. He is interred at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport.
- Allan Matthew "Laz" Lazarus. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 20, 2020.
- Solomon Lazarus. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 20, 2020.
- Allan Lazarus Obituary. The Shreveport Times (May 19, 2020). Retrieved on May 20, 2020.
- Scott Ferrell (May 18, 2020). Former Times Managing Editor Allan Lazarus dies at 92. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on May 20, 2020.