It’s a rare thing when the local dailies actually align, but yesterday’s lovely crosstown sendoff of David M. Jrolf was one of them.
He was, as the unsigned Boston Herald obit stated, “a respected journalist and beloved editor at the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.”
Bryan Marquand’s Boston Globe obit was equally generous.
Boston Herald Managing Editor for Production James Potter said Mr. Jrolf was “the consummate professional as the Herald’s Page One editor and head of the news copy desk” in the early 1990s.
“He was a hard-driving boss who pushed everyone on the copy desk to be better,” Potter said. “He had a presence that commanded attention. He knew the stories inside and out. We called him ‘The Giant Newsman,’ which was a moniker not only for his size, but for his great ability to stay up on all news, local, national and international.
“He demanded that we immerse ourselves in the news and it made us all better journalists,” Potter said.
The night Princess Diana died in Paris in 1997, Mr. Jrolf had left to go home just before the news broke late one Saturday. Michael Larkin, the Globe’s former deputy managing editor for news operations, was on the phone trying to get reporters to Paris “when I looked up and Dave was walking back into the room. I don’t know whether he heard it on the radio or what. He knew everyone would be needed, and he was there.
“He sat down, turned on his computer and worked with me until 4 o’clock Sunday morning,” Larkin added. “I’ll never forget it. That was one of the most magnanimous gestures. But that was Dave. He wanted to be in on the big stories. He just loved journalism.”
And, clearly, journalists loved him.