NEW YORK -- Wesley First, a New York newspaperman who later served
as editor of Travel Weekly, died Wednesday from complications
related to Alzheimer's disease. He was 80.
First was a career newspaperman with a distinguished record in
the daily newspaper field before joining Travel Weekly.
After attending the University of Michigan from 1937 to 1940, he
returned to his hometown of Erie, Pa., to start his journalism
career as a reporter and later city editor of the Erie
He came to New York in 1950 and joined the New York World
Telegram, a leading afternoon daily, and rose through the ranks to
become its managing editor. In 1960, he supervised the paper's
Pulitzer Prize winning news coverage of the collision of two
aircraft over New York City.
He joined Travel Weekly in 1969 as its editor.
He remained in that post until 1972, when he became an associate
publisher. He later served in executive posts with Ziff-Davis
Publishing Company, Travel Weekly's parent company at the time.
Following his retirement in 1982, he and his wife, Suzanne
Lavenas, who survives him, traveled extensively and contributed
articles to Travel Weekly and other publications.
First also is survived by a son, Michael, and a daughter, Karen
Whittlesey-First, both of Chicago, five grandchildren and two