Arthur Z. Kamin, 84, a longtime newspaperman in New Jersey who also was chairman of the Rutgers University board of trustees, died Tuesday, Sept. 22, at a retirement community in Red Bank, N.J.
Mr. Kamin, who previously lived in Fair Haven, N.J., died of Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare neurological disorder.
He was editor of the Red Bank Daily Register from 1965 to the mid-1980s.
"We were watchdogs in the public interest," he said in a 2000 interview.
Mr. Kamin also was a former president of the New Jersey Press Association and a retired member of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
From the early 1970s until the early 1990s, Mr. Kamin served on Rutgers' board of trustees, and was its chairman from 1982 to 1985, according to university archives.
He graduated from Rutgers in 1954 and was editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, the Daily Targum.
Mr. Kamin joined the Register in 1956 as a reporter and oversaw the paper's transition from a weekly to a daily in 1959, said his son, Blair. Six years later, Mr. Kamin became the paper's editor, and in 1971, its president.
"My dad could be relentless and hard-charging and very public-spirited, and he was a watchdog before it became fashionable to be one," said Blair Kamin, architecture critic at the Chicago Tribune.
"He was a good teacher, and many distinguished reporters came out of his newsroom," said the son, adding that his father's mentoring had helped him win a Pulitzer Prize. "At the same time, he was an approachable, sweet man who never forgot his roots growing up as a baker's son."
After the Register, which had moved its office to Shrewsbury, closed in 1991, Mr. Kamin worked as director of the Bayshore Development Office in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and taught journalism classes at Rutgers and Monmouth Universities and at Brookdale Community College.
Besides his son, Mr. Kamin is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Virginia, and a daughter, Brooke Kamin Rapaport.
Memorial services will be private. Donations may be made to the Fair Haven First Aid Squad and the Arthur Z. and Virginia P. Kamin Fund for Journalism Innovation in care of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.