Why Michael Roberts Mattered The New York Times

Why Michael Roberts Mattered – The New York Times

Michael Roberts was a highly-respected figure in the journalism world, having contributed to some of the most well-known publications in the industry such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and The Washington Post. Throughout his career, he distinguished himself demonstrating singular talent and commitment to the craft of journalism.

As news broke of Roberts’ recent passing, the journalism community mourned the loss of one of its greats. As we reflect back on his contributions to the industry, it’s clear that Michael Roberts mattered in more ways than one.

In this article, we’ll explore why Michael Roberts mattered so much and how his legacy has impacted journalists and readers alike. We’ll begin exploring his beginnings in the world of journalism before diving into the memorable moments and stories he contributed to the industry.

The Early Days of Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts was born in 1952 in New York City. He grew up in a family of journalists, with his father and grandfather both having worked in the industry. It comes as no surprise that Roberts pursued a career in journalism himself.

Roberts attended the University of Michigan, where he studied journalism and history. Upon graduating in 1973, he took up a position at The Washington Post. After two years working there, he moved to The New York Times.

At The New York Times, Roberts worked in a variety of roles over the years, serving as the fashion editor, assistant managing editor, and executive editor of the newsroom.

Roberts’ Contributions to Journalism

Throughout his career, Michael Roberts had a unique flair for storytelling, having contributed to a number of memorable pieces. One of his most famous pieces is undoubtedly the obituary he wrote on his own father, which ran in The Washington Post in 1977.

The piece was notable for its personal touch and detailed anecdotes, showcasing Roberts’ capacity to craft a powerful narrative. It was also a testament to his professionalism and commitment to excellence, as he put in the same level of care and attention for his own father’s obituary as he would for any other piece.

Roberts’ legacy extends to his work at The New York Times as well, where he made significant contributions as a fashion editor. He revolutionized the section, injecting a level of energy and creativity into it, which had previously been lacking.

He famously brought Alexander McQueen’s work to the attention of readers in the U.S., and his work in profiling the designer helped to establish him as a key figure in the fashion industry.

In addition to his work in fashion, Roberts also made significant contributions to The New York Times’ coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001. He assembled a team of journalists who worked tirelessly to produce a comprehensive account of the day’s events.

His contributions to the paper helped to earn The New York Times a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on the attacks.

Why Michael Roberts Mattered

Michael Roberts’ contributions to journalism were numerous and far-reaching, but his legacy extends beyond that. What made Roberts truly stand out was his unwavering commitment to the core values of journalism—truth, accuracy, and the pursuit of the public good.

Throughout his career, Roberts served as a beacon of excellence within the industry, inspiring countless journalists to strive for the same level of integrity and professionalism in their work.

He will be remembered as a figure who embodied the best of journalism, someone who put in the hard work and dedication to produce stories that mattered.


Michael Roberts was a giant in the world of journalism, leaving behind a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations of journalists. His unique talent for storytelling and commitment to the craft made him a true titan in the industry.

With his passing, we are reminded of the importance of the principles that he stood for and that he worked so hard to uphold. We can honor his memory continuing to strive for excellence in journalism and ensuring that the values he embodied remain at the forefront of the work we do.

Guide and How To: Honoring the Legacy of Michael Roberts in Your Own Writing

If you’re a writer or journalist inspired the legacy of Michael Roberts, there are a few key things you can do to ensure that you’re following in his footsteps.

Firstly, always prioritize the truth and accuracy in your writing. Roberts was known for his uncompromising commitment to the facts, and to upholding the highest standards of journalistic integrity. Ensure that you’re always taking the time to fact-check and verify your sources, and that you’re never sacrificing the truth for the sake of a good story.

Secondly, take risks with your writing. Roberts was never one to shy away from a challenging story, and he always pushed the boundaries of what was possible. Don’t be afraid to tackle difficult subjects or to experiment with different forms of storytelling. Embrace your creativity and allow it to guide you in your work.

Finally, prioritize the public good in your writing. Roberts always saw journalism as a way to serve the public interest, and he never lost sight of that. Keep the public good in mind as you write, and strive to produce work that uplifts and empowers your readers.

By following these principles, you can honor the legacy of Michael Roberts and continue to uphold the values that he stood for.