Lillian Ross, Longtime New Yorker Reporter, Dies at 99

Veteran journalist’s works appeared in the magazine for over 60 years

Lillian Ross, longtime reporter for The New Yorker, died Wednesday at the age of 99, according to her editor, Susan Morrison.

Ross (pictured above left with Anjelica Huston) joined The New Yorker in 1945, writing short articles on New York’s social scene. Later, she became a staff writer with her own Talk of the Town column, getting her big break in 1950 with a profile piece on Ernest Hemingway.

Later, Ross took on Hollywood with a series of articles about the making of John Huston’s 1951 adaptation of “The Red Badge of Courage.” The articles were later compiled into a book called “Picture,” which was praised for its deep dive into Hollywood studios and the struggles that come with making a big picture.

Ross was known for keeping her personal life very private, but the big exception to this was her 1998 memoir “Here But Not Here: A Love Story,” in which she revealed in-depth her 50-year love affair with New Yorker editor William Shawn, who was married to another woman. The memoir, which was published six years after Shawn’s death but while his widow was still alive, earned Ross immense backlash from media circles.

Despite the criticism, Ross’ articles continued to appear in the New Yorker more than 60 years after she first joined the magazine. Her last piece was published online in 2012, in which she reflected on her relationship with J.D. Salinger after the death of the “Catcher in the Rye” author. Her last print piece was a Talk of the Town column about Robin Williams.

Ross died of a stroke at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.