New Yorker icon George W.S. Trow dies

Dec. 8, 2006 at 5:42 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- George W.S. Trow, who composed sardonic essays for the New Yorker and co-founded the National Lampoon magazine, has died in Naples, Italy.

Trow died Nov. 24 of natural causes at the age of 63.

The Los Angeles Times said Trow once said of television, "No good has come of it." Trow was known best for his book "Within the Context of No Context," a collection of satirical pieces about culture in a country dominated by television, the newspaper said.

Trow pointed to the TV program "Family Feud" as a perfect example. He saw loneliness as a product of television's illusions of intimacy.

Author Jamaica Kincaid, whom Trow took under his wing and eventually got the New Yorker to hire, called him a genius, the Times said. He graduated Exeter and then Harvard in 1965, where he served as president of the Lampoon, the group responsible for the well-known humor magazine. Later he helped found National Lampoon.

Trow left the New Yorker after Tina Brown became editor and made sweeping changes in 1994. His last article appeared in the magazine in 1999.

The band Steely Dan's Donald Fagen wrote on his Web site, "I remember him walking into a room full of people like a country squire off to the fox hunt, and announcing: 'Today the motto is: Find an America You Can Stand and STAND BY IT!'"

Trow spent the last five years in Naples. He is survived by his mother Anne C. Trow of Southbury, Conn. She told the paper her son suffered from depression, a condition he once described to a friend as "bipolar light."

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