Friday, June 8, 2012

Brooklyn Eagle's Dennis Holt Dies at 77


Dennis Holt, longtime columnist and staff writer for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and sister publications including the Brooklyn Heights Press, died on Thursday after complications from a fall in his home on May 14, the Brooklyn Eagle reports.

After serving many years as press adviser to a number of elected officials, including former Rep. Stephen Solarz, Mr. Holt was one of the founding editors of the award-winning Brooklyn Phoenix newspaper in 1972. Mr. Holt became a senior editor and columnist for the revived Brooklyn Eagle in 1994.

A far-sighted seer of the borough's economic development, Mr. Holt was said to know "where all the bodies are buried" in Brooklyn.

Born in Kansas, Holt moved to Boerum Hill with his wife 40 years ago and raised his family there.

For years Holt wrote the "Brooklyn Broadside" column in the Eagle, which Brooklyn journalists and bloggers alike followed to get insight on issues destined to become important. Some recent topics included: "Downtown Building Boom Could Be a Planning Nightmare;" "Who's to lead Brooklyn? A vote for Marilyn Gelber;" "How Three Decisions Affect Character of Our Environs" and "Olga Bloom — and Women’s Contributions to Brooklyn."

Most of his older columns are unavailable as the Eagle says it is updating its archives, but links to his articles can be found in hundreds of online journals, blogs and newspapers, from Center for An Urban Future to Brownstoner to Pubinvest.

While many news sources report about events happening in the borough, Holt reported on the history leading up to these events and their long-term implications. While we didn't agree with him about everything (Atlantic Yards, for example), time after time he turned out to be prescient.

Holt has been called a Brooklyn treasure, like Junior's cheesecake, and dean of Brooklyn reporters. His voice will be missed.

NOTE: Holt's age was originally stated as 83 in the Brooklyn Eagle, so we misstated it as well. His age at death was 77. 

UPDATE:  Holt's much longer obituary and several photos are up now at the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Eagle

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