Edward Harbert II, Former NYT Exec, Father of Ted and Chris Harbert, Dies at 88

Edward W. Harbert II, 88, was a former “Tonight Show” producer and the father of NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert and TV agent Chris Harbert

Last Updated: April 9, 2012 @ 9:49 PM

Edward W. Harbert II, former executive producer of NYT Productions at the New York Times Magazine Group, died of natural causes in Westwood, Calif., on Sunday. He was 88.

Harbert, who was popularly known as "Ted," served as executive producer of NYT Productions from 1976 to 1989. He is the father of NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert and leading television agent at CAA, Chris Harbert.

Harbert's 45-year career in the entertainment, advertising and publishing industries also included a five-year stint during the early years of "The Tonight Show," where he helped design and produce the talent segments of the show, and a time at the publicity department of MGM Studios, where he worked on films starring Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, Judy Garland and Peter Lawford, among others.

Following a period of employment as a senior executive with the Kenyon & Eckhardt advertising firm, Harbert moved into magazine publishing. Harbert worked for the Hearst Corporation before moving to the New York Times Magazine Group, where he pioneered the idea of multi-purposing editorial content into educational videos and TV programming, such as "Science Times," which was produced by CBS News.

An avid golfer, Harbert served on the production team of multiple Professional Golf Association broadcasts from 1970 to 1980, and served on the advisory committee of PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., during his retirement.

Born on Oct. 2, 1923, in Oakland, Calif., Harbert found himself drawn into World War II when his Naval ROTC unit at the University of California, Berkeley was activated following the Pearl Harbor attack. Harbert served on the battleship USS Missouri, which took part in the attacks on Iwo Jima and Okinawa, as well as the shelling of mainland Japan. During the signing of Japan's surrender, which took place aboard the Missouri, he served as the "officer escort" for Gen. Douglas MacArthur's command staff.

Harbert is survived by his wife, Marna, four children, three daughters-in-law, 12 grandchildren, one granddaughter-in-law, and two great-grandchildren.

His burial will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles.