Stanley Abercrombie -- Interior Design, 1/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
On Christmas morning, Monica Geran died of heart failure. She had served as this magazine's senior editor for almost 40 years, retiring in 2005 and remaining a contributing editor thereafter.
Born in in Brno, Czechoslovakia, where her textile-manufacturer father was the British consul, she spent much of her childhood there. With World War II impending, she moved first to the U.K., then to the U.S. She stayed after graduating from Wellesley College in 1945 and worked for several years in public relations for DuPont, introducing its products to the architecture and design community.
She joined Interior Design in 1968, and the legend is that, in her earliest years, she wrote virtually every article in every issue. She was a tough and perceptive interviewer, a superb writer, and an enthusiastic supporter of the many designers she admired. (For example Billy Baldwin, with whom she's seated in this 1975 photograph.) Whenever any of the rest of us—including myself as editor in chief for 12 years—had a question about spelling or grammar, syntax or style, she was the one we turned to, and she set a high standard for us to follow.
She was also a woman of keen intellect, impeccable manners, considerable eccentricity, strong opinions, steadfast friendship, and quiet style. None of us will ever meet anyone remotely like her.