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Longtime Parade columnist James Brady dies in NYC

James Brady, the Parade magazine celebritycolumnist whose wide-ranging career also included novels, a memoiron his Korean War service and a stint as publisher of the fashionbible Women's Wear Daily, has died at 80.

Brady's death was announced Tuesday by Parade magazine, where hewrote the celebrity profile column "In Step With" for nearly 25years. He died Monday at his Manhattan home.

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Brady also was credited with initiating the New York Post'spopular Page Six gossip section when he worked for publisher RupertMurdoch in the 1970s. During that time, he also succeeded ClayFelker as editor of New York magazine when Murdoch acquired it in1977.

His varied interests were alluded to in a 1997 New York Timesprofile. At Brady's home in East Hampton, it said, "photos fromyears gone by paper the walls. Mr. Brady with (designer Coco)Chanel in Paris, Mr. Brady with a young Brooke Shields in New York,Mr. Brady in combat fatigues in Korea, Mr. Brady with PresidentBush in Washington."

The Times praised his 1990 memoir on Korea, "The Coldest War,"as "a superb personal memoir of the way it was. ... Whatdistinguishes Mr. Brady's book is its clarity and modesty; there isno heroic flag-waving here."

He followed it up with a 2000 novel, "The Marines of Autumn,"and his 2005 "The Scariest Place in the World: A Marine Returns toNorth Korea."

He had gone back in 2003 for Parade magazine, and in the book heshared his experiences and emotions on seeing the place 50 yearsafter the war ended in a stalemate. In "The Scariest Place," hewrote that none of the many later events of his life "matched theintensity, the gravitas and sheer excitement" of combat as leaderof a rifle platoon.

Among his other books was "Further Lane," a 1997 murdermystery set in East Hampton; and two novels drawing on his years inthe women's wear field: "Designs" and "Fashion Show."

He had become Women's Wear Daily's publisher in 1964. Workingwith Fairchild Publications chief John Fairchild, he helped makethe daily into a publication popular with 1960s fashionistas aswell as professionals in the clothing trade.

He jumped to Hearst Corp. in 1971 and was publisher of itsfashion magazine Harper's Bazaar.

But many readers knew him best for his contributions at Parade.CEO Walter Anderson said Brady "was a friend to the 73 millionAmericans who looked forward to his column each week ... He will beextraordinarily missed."

His last column will appear Feb. 15. It will feature actor KevinBacon.

Born in 1928, Brady started as a copyboy for the New York DailyNews, where he worked while attending Manhattan College. Shortlyafter returning from Korea, he joined Fairchild Publications. Amongother posts, he covered Washington for Fairchild and later reportedfrom London and Paris.

He was hired by Murdoch in 1974 to edit the then-new weekly Starmagazine. He later was an associate publisher at the New York Post.

Brady is survived by his wife, two daughters, a brother andother relatives.

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