Carol Kramer, tart-tongued, polymathic magazine editor and newspaper reporter, died Tuesday after a long illness. She was 79.
Kramer was born August 16, 1940, in Chicago. She graduated cum laude from Marquette University, and received a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
She had been a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, a writer on the New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, and an editor at the paper’s short-lived afternoon edition, the Daily News Tonight, started by Clay Felker. In 1980, her face appeared on city buses in a poster advertising the edition with these words: “Go Home With This Woman.”
She was a lifestyle editor at 7 Days, a city weekly that folded in 1990, and an editor at Allure, Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple, among other publications. A devout Catholic, she volunteered at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church’s homeless shelter, spending one night each weekend there for nearly a decade.
She dazzled her friends and coworkers with her encyclopedic knowledge of history, Broadway show tunes, English literature and arcane Catholic doctrine. She could rattle off presidential history — and list the presidents — with envy-inducing speed.
Kramer was a deft headline writer, an accomplished accordion player and a wonderful cook. According to her friends, her heart was enormous, her wit, biting, her oxtail stew, sublime.