Obituary: Bob Minzesheimer, Former USA Today Book Critic

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Bob Minzesheimer, who for many years wrote about books and authors for USA Today and Westchester and Rockland County, New York’s The Journal News, died on October 15 of brain cancer. He was 66.

Minzesheimer began his career in journalism as a political reporter and editor. From 1997 to 2014, he wrote book reviews, covered book industry news, and interviewed some of the most intriguing writers of his time, including Maya Angelou, Norman Mailer, Ben Cheever, and David Carr.

Minzesheimer was also a longtime friend to independent booksellers. In 2002, Minzesheimer was an early promoter of the Book Sense 76, the precursor to today’s Indie Next List, and in 2012 he took part in the Winter Institute in New Orleans, where he interviewed historian Douglas Brinkley, author of The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

ABA CEO Oren Teicher said, “Bob Minzesheimer was an outstanding journalist and consummate gentleman. While he had an encyclopedic knowledge about books and the book business, he never lost interest in learning more. He was fair and thorough and had a special interest in indie bookstores. He even worked in one before his illness took its toll. We’ve lost a good friend.”

In his Westchester community, Minzesheimer served on the board of the Ossining Public Library, which presided over a $15.8 million expansion, and he organized the Friends of the Ossining Public Library group.

Minzesheimer is survived by his wife, Mary McDonagh Murphy, daughter Kathryn Kirby Minzesheimer, and son James McDonagh Minzesheimer.

USA Today featured a look back at Minzesheimer’s career.