Edward S. Skillin, 1904-2000

Edward S. Skillin, long-time editor and publisher of Commonweal, died on August 14 of complications resulting from a stroke he had suffered in May. He was ninety-six and had remained active until his illness, reading galleys for the magazine through its June 2000 issues. He is survived by his wife of fifty-five years, the former Jane Edwards, and by five children, three foster children, and nine grandchildren.

For those of us privileged to work with Edward on the Commonweal staff, he will always remain a man of uncommon faith, intelligence, stamina, and kindness. As Peter Steinfels remarked on the occasion of Edward’s ninetieth birthday, "there was some secret formula of daily Mass, weekly golf, Benedictine stability, bicycle riding, and commuting on the PATH [train from his home in New Jersey] that enabled him not only to keep the wolf from the door of Commonweal, but to act, in good Franciscan fashion, as though Brother Wolf were just another friend of the family."

Edward Skillin was born in New York City on January 23, 1904, attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College in 1925. The same year he applied for work at The Commonweal, as it was known then, because, he said, "I felt it was the most intelligent expression of Catholicism." But there was no position open at the time, so Edward worked for the publishing firm of Henry Holt for seven...

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