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IPFS News Link • Death

Nat Hentoff, Renowned Columnist and Jazz Critic, Dead at 91


Nat Hentoff, longtime political columnist, free speech activist and renowned jazz critic, has died at the age of 91.

Hentoff died Saturday of natural causes in his Manhattan apartment, his son Tom told the Associated Press. Another of his sons, Nick Hentoff, tweeted that Nat "died surrounded by family listening to Billie Holiday."

The Boston-born Hentoff began his career in broadcast journalism while also hosting a weekly jazz program on Boston's WMEX. In 1953, Hentoff moved to New York City and began writing for jazz magazine Down Beat; he was fired from that job in 1957 after attempting to employ an African-American writer, the AP reports.

The following year, Hentoff joined the Village Voice, where he served as columnist for the next 50 years, writing about a myriad of subjects involving politics, education, religion and, most importantly to him, freedom of speech and First Amendment issues.