Funeral Service Set For ‘Beverly Hills Courier’ Founder March Schwartz
Updated: Monday, September 8, 2014 – 1:32 PM
Arrangements for the funeral service for Beverly Hills Courier founder/publisher emeritus March Schwartz have been announced. Schwartz died Sunday morning, Sept. 7 at 97.
The service will be at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 14 in the large chapel at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Ave. The service will be officiated by Rabbi Jerry Cutler, who married Schwartz and his wife Linda, with Rabbi Jacob Pressman participating.
According to his wife, Schwartz had always quipped: “I prefer to be buried on a Sunday so as many people as as possible—friends and enemies alike—may attend.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to a favorite charity.
March was born on April 9, 1917 in Philadelphia and attended his hometown University of Pennsylvania. He then stowed away on a boat, ending up in China where he continued his education at St. John’s University and Chenglu University.
World War II interrupted both his schooling and life as a new resident of Shanghai. He joined the U.S. Army, rose to the rank of captain in the infantry, and became an aide to Gen. Joseph W. Stillwell in China.
Following his duties with “Vinegar Joe”–as his old boss was nicknamed–Schwartz was then assigned as a public relations officer in Washington, D.C. for first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
With the end of the war, he came to California, attended Southwestern Law School and entered the newspaper business which he believed was his destiny.
His first job was with the newly formed Los Angeles Mirror for which he became advertising sales manager and later editor of The Mirror-News. After its merger into The Los Angeles Times, he joined The New York Times as advertising manager of its West Coast edition.
Schwartz decided the time was ripe for him to go out on his own and establish a new community newspaper in Beverly Hills. These were both accomplished on July 22, 1965 with the first edition of The Courier. In an opening editorial, he stated the newspaper’s first responsibility was to cover events which affected the Beverly Hills’ residents and taxpayers fairly and accurately with an emphasis on tax rates, schools and public services.
He became a member of the White House Press Corps in 1978 and subsequently covered President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton on both domestic and foreign trips. However, his first love and obligation was to Beverly Hills. He served on the board of the Friars Charitable Foundation, was named “Citizen of the Year” by the BH Chamber of Commerce, and “Man of the Year” by the BH Education Foundation.
Schwartz met his wife Linda in 1996 and the pair have been constant companions ever since. He has four sons, three daughters 10 grandchildren and a great grandson.
After suffering a debilitating stroke in the early 2000s, he reluctantly gave up the day-to-day operation of The Courier and sold the paper.
“March was a giant, not necessarily in physical stature, but in the many things he did for Beverly Hills,” Courier President and Publisher Marcia Hobbs said. “We thank him for blazing such a big trail.”