Allan M. Siegal
Allan Marshall Siegal
May 1, 1940
New York City, U.S.
|Died||September 21, 2022 (aged 82)|
New York City, U.S.
|Alma mater||New York University|
Allan Marshall Siegal (May 1, 1940 – September 21, 2022) was an American newspaper or and journalist who worked at The New York Times for 45 years. In 1987, he was named an assistant managing or, and in 2003, he became the Times' first standards or, charged with maintaining high standards of accuracy, fairness and ethical conduct.
Siegal was born in the Bronx on May 1, 1940. His father, Irving, immigrated from Poland during his teenage years and managed a seltzer delivery company before becoming a landlord; his mother, Sylvia (Wrubel), was a housewife. Siegal attended Christopher Columbus High School in his home borough's Pelham Parkway neighborhood, where he served as or of the school newspaper. He was then awarded a scholarship to study journalism at New York University.
While he was still in university, Siegal joined The New York Times in 1960 as a copy boy. He eventually worked his way up to becoming a copy or. During the 1960s, he briefly worked at ABC News (under the aegis of Peter Jennings) in 1966 but soon returned to the Times. He also had a stint as a reporter, but realized he preferred ing, and successfully lobbied to return to an ing position. He first worked on the foreign desk and later as the head of the news desk. Siegal was part of the team that turned the Pentagon Papers into news. In 1986, he became an assistant managing or. Siegal was the lead or of the newspaper's investigation of Jayson Blair.
Siegal served as the in-house authority on language, style, taste, professional ethics and practical newspapering. He co-authored the New York Times' stylebook and its ethics manual along with designing the first computer system in the newsroom. His last post at the Times was as assistant managing or and standards or, a position that he was the inaugural holder of from its creation in 2003. His responsibilities in that capacity included maintaining the newspaper's ethics, accuracy, fairness, and accountability. He retired in 2006.
Siegal married Gretchen Leefmans in 1977. She worked as a freelance manuscript or at the time, and they remained together until his death. Together, they had two children.