Obituary: Ron Hollander
Ron Hollander of Rocky Point, Long Island, formerly of Montclair and a retired journalism professor at Montclair State University, died suddenly on Feb. 26, 2022, at his home. He was 80.
Mr. Hollander was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Rockville Centre, Long Island. He began his newspaper career as the co-editor of his high school paper in Rockville Centre.
In 1962 he dropped out of Brandeis University and hitchhiked to Jackson, Mississippi, where he began reporting for the Mississippi Free Press. Medgar and Merlie Evers suggested he investigate the wrongful incarceration of Clyde Kennard, and he did, ultimately writing a piece for The Reporter magazine. That article came to the attention of the U.S. attorney general and contributed to Kennard’s release.
Mr. Hollander returned to Brandeis, graduating in 1963. Soon after, he went to work and/or wrote for The Virginian-Pilot, the Fairbanks Miner, Newsday, Town and Country magazine, The Montclair Times, The Record, the New York Post, The New York Times and Cable News Network, among other media.
As the youngest reporter for the Pilot he was assigned the lead covering President Kennedy’s assassination; he was just 22.
After his long reporting career, Mr. Hollander began 25 years heading the Journalism and Jewish Holocaust Studies program at Montclair State.
There he dug into the story of Lionel trains, one of his collecting passions. In 1981, Workman Press published his illustrated definitive history, “All Aboard!: The Story of Joshua Lionel Cowen and His Lionel Train Company.” It has been a steady seller for 41 years.
Mr. Hollander wrote about and was active in civil rights, the women’s movement, anti-war activities, African wildlife concerns, Holocaust issues, opera, toy trains, toy soldiers, classic cars, airplanes, castles and more.
He reported from the U.S., France, Africa and China. He was also an award-winning photographer, taking photos of steam trains in China during his Fulbright Fellowship teaching journalism to Chinese graduate students in Beijing.
In 1995, another of his longed-for dreams was realized when he and his former wife, Virginia Cornue, adopted their daughter, Mei Ming Cornue-Hollander. He was a smitten dad from the moment he first cradled her in his arms in Wuhan, China.
Mr. Hollander is survived by his beloved daughter, Mei Ming Cornue-Hollander, and his younger brothers, Marshall and Lawrence Davis Hollander.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Seymour and Beatrice Fischer Hollander, and his sister, Andrea Hollander.
He was buried from Gutterman’s Funeral Home in Rockville Centre and interred at Beth Moses Cemetery in West Babylon, New York.