CORAL GABLES, Fla. (January 13, 2017)—David Kraslow, a University of Miami alumnus and longtime senior member of the Board of Trustees whose “impeccable moral compass” guided a brilliant newspaper career and relentless compassion for others, passed away January 9, at age 90.
The former publisher of The Miami News’s own words, written for the afternoon daily’s final issue in 1988 and quoted by The Miami Herald last week, laid out the foundation for his remarkable life, and the profound mark he left.
“I have written books. And magazine articles. And countless tens of thousands of words for newspapers datelined from Washington and places in this country and the world over,” Kraslow, A.B. ’48, said in his final News column. “But it all began professionally here—so many years ago—with The Miami News as a sports writer during my senior year at the University of Miami.”
A year after his 1977 rise to publisher of the News, Kraslow joined UM’s Board of Trustees. He was elected a senior trustee in 2009 and over the decades served on numerous committees, sharing his cherished insights and advice with veterans and newcomers alike.
“When he spoke it was important to listen,” longtime UM trustee Leonard Abess, who served as board chair from 2007-2011, told the Herald. “He was passionate. And he spoke from knowledge, experience and most of all from the heart. His counsel to me was priceless. David had an impeccable moral compass.”
Added Trustee Emeritus Frank Scruggs, “David was a giant. He cared about the downtrodden, oppressed, and needy. Miamians across a broad spectrum have lost a good friend.”
Calling him “a vibrant member of the University of Miami family,” UM President Julio Frenk said, “David Kraslow was a highly respected community leader who was deeply involved in the life of his alma mater and provided sage counsel to several of my predecessors as a member of the Board of Trustees.”
A member of the Iron Arrow Honor Society, a former member of the UM Citizens Board, and a former trustee of the Jackson Health System Public Health Trust, Kraslow was an ardent Hurricanes fan whose generosity helped establish The Bernice Kraslow Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, named for his beloved late wife.
A Nieman Fellow of Harvard University and a member of the Gridiron Club in Washington, D.C., he earned many prestigious journalism awards, climbing the ranks of the competitive industry and collecting many admirers along the way. Joining The Miami News as a sports writer in 1947, he later joined the Herald staff, moving from sports writer to reporter to Washington correspondent. He also was assistant managing editor of the Washington Star-News and the Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times and Cox Newspapers.
Born in the Bronx, Kraslow served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946 and in Miami on the Orange Bowl Committee and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. He was a former director of the International Oceanographic Foundation and founding president of the Center for Fine Arts, now the Perez Art Museum Miami.
He is survived by his daughters Ellen Jennings, Karen Spellman, and Susan Dandes; grandchildren Laura, Casey, Samantha, Ryan, Spencer, and Erin; and two great-grandchildren. Services were held last week.
Donations in Kraslow’s name can be made to the University of Miami Child Protection Team, P.O. Box 025388, Miami, Florida, 33102.
Read more about Kraslow’s life, career, and impact in The Miami Herald obituary.