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In Memoriam: Longtime Daily Titan Adviser Remembered As Friend, Mentor and Journalist

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Stephen Jay Berman, lecturer emeritus and longtime Daily Titan faculty adviser, died of cancer at his home in Manhattan Beach on June 9, at age 83. Berman held the longevity record as Daily Titan’s adviser, a remarkable 11½ years from 1981 to ’92, and was a graduate of USC’s school of journalism.

In addition to teaching and freelance writing, Berman was an editor at the Santa Monica Evening Outlook, The Daily Breeze and The Los Angeles Times Syndicate. He also served on the staffs of Los Angeles County district attorney Joseph P. Busch and Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles.

Jay and his beloved wife, Irene, were always on adventures around the world.

Several of Berman’s students went on to be members of Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, and two became longtime foreign bureau chiefs for The Associated Press and Reuters.

In March, some 60 former students from around the world honored Jay and his wife, Irene, raising funds for the Jay Berman Daily Titan Scholarship at a luncheon.

There it was recalled that Berman, who had covered the Los Angeles arrival of The Beatles in 1964, developed a lifelong interest in John Lennon and, in parallel. a lifelong wish to have a byline in The New York Times.

After years of trying, Berman finally succeeded with a double play, selling The Times a story about a Japanese museum dedicated to John Lennon. Berman’s story ran on the cover of the Arts section, but hardly anyone read it: It ran on Sept. 12, 2001, and the Arts section was buried under coverage of the previous day’s 9/11 attacks.

“Jay was one of those faculty whose students remembered and adored him years later, an example of a teacher’s reach far beyond the time and space of the immediate classroom,” Jason Shepard,  the chair of the Department of Communications at CSUF, said. “Jay’s legacy lives on through literally hundreds of his former COMM students around the world.”

Read a great story about Jay’s wonderful life and outpouring of love in the Orange County Register.

Walt Baranger