Remembering Woody Klein

Woody Klein — a longtime Westporter who was deeply involved in town affairs, in roles ranging from newspaper editor to RTM member to author of a detailed local history — died Tuesday. He was 90 years old.

The New York native had a distinguished career long before embarking on his Westport activities.

He was a reporter for the Washington Post and New York World Telegram & Sun (where he wrote about his experiences living undercover in a city slum); an on-air TV personality at New York’s Channels 13 and 2; press secretary for Mayor John Lindsay, and he spent 24 years in communications at IBM, including 6 as editor of the famed in-house publication Think.

Woody Klein

After retiring from IBM in 1996, Klein served 6 years as editor of the Westport News. His “Out of the Woods” column continued to run in the paper long after he left the editor’s chair.

He also was a board member of United Way of Westport-Weston, and an advisory board member of the Westport Historical Society.

He wrote 7 books, including “Westport, Connecticut: The Story of a New England Town’s Rise to Prominence.”

Klein is survived by his wife, Audrey, his daughter Wendy and her husband, Howard Lippitt of Long Beach, California, and several nieces and nephews.

For a full obituary, click here.

7 responses to “Remembering Woody Klein

  1. Kristan Hamlin

    I am so very sorry to hear this, but glad that Woody lived a good long life to 90.
    Woody did a great job researching historical properties, unearthing the deed history of the Longshore Club, and writing the one invaluable book of Westport history called, “Westport, Connecticut,” which I keep out on a coffee table in my home. I particularly loved the section of his book on the five founding families in the chapter called “Bankside Farmers,” and all the history he includes there about 17th century Westport.
    He included some wonderful local ancient paintings and photos in that book, including a painting on p. 36 of my ancestor Daniel Frost’s 17th century home that I would never have taken the time to research and acquaint myself with, but found fascinating to see. I am grateful that he shared his love of Westport with all of us — the beneficiaries of his research expertise. He was an invaluable asset.
    I feel so grateful for all the selfless work Woody did to catalogue and describe the history of our special town, Westport. RIP Woody!

    • Kristan, Is the original manuscript of the book in the new Westport Museum?

      • Kristan Hamlin

        Jack– I do not know where the original manuscript is. But I know I bought my copy of the book from the store at the former Westport Historical Society. Hopefully, they still sell it at the new Westport Museum.

  2. Woody Klein’s book titled simply “Westport, Connecticut” and published in 2000, is a must for everyone who loves Westport and wants to know more of the town’s history. You can find it on eBay at a high price but much more reasonably at (which is a dealer with many affiliated dealers.) Recommended! The book was designed by Miggs Burroughs.

  3. Peter Gambaccini

    I am sorry to hear this news. I actually owed Woody Klein a great deal. Long ago, he asked me to help put together a book for his 25th Dartmouth College reunion. That led him to recommend me for a NY Times modeling gig (seriously), which more importantly led the Times guy to getting me the Manhattan apartment his brother was vacating. I’ve been here more than 40 years and it all began with Woody. Thanks. And RIP.

  4. A lovely man who contributed greatly to the world of Westport.
    Don Bergmann

  5. Farewell to a great author, historian, and all around terrific human being. I treasure my autographed copy of WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT as both a former IBMer and ex-Westport Hysterical Society board member. Peace to his family.
    Wally Woods