Editor of Progressive dead at 63

November 23, 1994

Editor of Progressive dead at 63

MADISON, Wisconsin November 2—Erwin Knoll, editor of the Progressive magazine, died this morning in his sleep of an apparent heart attack. He was 63.

"We have lost a lion", said Matthew Rothschild, publisher of the Progressive. "Free speech and non-violence had no greater friend, and war-makers and opportunistic politicians no greater foe than in Erwin Knoll."

Knoll, who was editor of the Progressive for the 21 years. He hosted two nationally syndicated radio programs in addition.

Ralph Nader has called Knoll "the most versatile progressive journalist in America". Richard Nixon put Knoll on his celebrated enemies list.

Knoll's most celebrated freedom of the press battle was fought and won with the US government, which in 1979 tried to restrain the Progressive from publishing an article titled "The H-Bomb Secret", which gathered the secrets of the hydrogen bomb from publicly available sources.

"Erwin Knoll was a pugnacious pacifist", Rothschild said. "He was extremely skilled in arguing for left-wing views, and he brought these ideas to millions of Americans."

Knoll opposed all US interventions abroad, including the war against Iraq and the occupation of Haiti. At his death he was working on a book on capital punishment — a practice he viewed as an abomination.

Born in Vienna, Knoll fled the Nazis and migrated to the United States as a child. He worked on the staff of the Washington Post from 1957 to 1963, and from 1963 to 1968, he covered the White House for the Newhouse National News Service. Knoll joined the Progressive in 1968 as the magazine's Washington editor, and moved to Madison to become editor in 1973.

The Progressive is a monthly magazine of political and social commentary founded in 1909.

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