Fred Hechinger

Fred M. Hechinger was education editor of The New York Times, an author of several books and an advocate for public education.

Hechinger was born in Germany in 1920 and came to the U.S. in 1936. He completed his bachelor’s degree at The City College of New York and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He began his career in journalism as a foreign correspondent, covering Europe and the Middle East for the Overseas News Agency before joining The Herald Tribune in 1950 as education editor. In 1959, he began writing for The New York Times.

“During his vigorous tenure at The Times, Fred Hechinger was the voice of wisdom, reason and conscience in the often-volatile world of education,” said Arthur Gelb, who was Mr. Hechinger’s managing editor at The Times. “His influence extended beyond his many articles and books, for he also served informally as a trusted adviser to public school chancellors, as well as deans and presidents of our leading universities.”

Hechinger died in 1995. Teachers College President Arthur Levine established the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media a year later, calling Fred Hechinger “one of the most influential voices in education journalism in the past half century.”