If they’re very lucky, people have a career they are good at, and love.
Gordon Joseloff had 3.
For more than 20 years, the Westport native was an award-winning journalist who reported from London, Moscow, Tokyo and other spots around the world, for United Press International and CBS News.
He served 2 terms as Westport’s first selectman (2005-2013). That was the culmination of his involvement in town affairs. Before that, he spent 14 years (7 terms) on the Representative Town Meeting. He became deputy moderator in his 2nd term, and was elected moderator the next term. His 10 years as RTM leader are matched by only one other person in history.
Joseloff was an integral part of many other organizations, including the Westport Historical Society and Westport Rotary. He was also a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician.
Joseloff was also active in other community affairs, including serving as an honorary member of the advisory board of the Westport Historical Society, and a member of the Westport Rotary Club and the League of Women Voters of Westport.
Joseloff’s 3rd career — which both preceded and followed his service as 1st selectman — was as founder, editor and publisher of WestportNow. At its start in 2003, the platform was one of the nation’s first community news sites. It has won numerous journalism awards, and continues to inform and entertain thousands of readers.
Gordon Joseloff died this morning, 3 years after being diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. He was 75 years old.
For a full obituary, it is fitting to click here: WestportNow.
In May of 2018, “06880” cited Gordon Joseloff as Unsung Hero of the Week. I wrote:
Earlier this year, WestportNow celebrated its 15th anniversary.
Since 2003 the site has provided readers with political news, police reports, coverage of community events like library talks and fundraisers, obituaries, photos of sunrises and sunsets, and the immensely popular “Teardown of the Day.”
The founder, editor and publisher is Gordon Joseloff. He gave up his editor’s post between 2005 and 2013 — that’s when he served 2 terms as the town’s 1st selectman — but he’s been back at the helm ever since.
Joseloff’s journalistic chops are real. He worked for UPI. Then, during 16 years at CBS News, he rose from a writer for Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather to correspondent, senior producer and bureau chief in New York, Moscow and Tokyo.
Joseloff covered the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the downing of Korean Air Lines flight 007, the assassination of India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (for which he won an Emmy Award in 1984), the Bhopal gas leak, and the overthrow of Philippines President Fernando Marcos.
And he’s a Westport native. His family’s roots run deep: They owned downtown property including the Fine Arts Theater, a very popular spot for over 8 decades. (Today it’s Restoration Hardware.)
Joseloff was a teenage reporter for the Westport Town Crier, and helped create the predecessor of Staples’ WWPT radio station, broadcasting at Compo Beach.
Prior to running for first selectman, Joseloff served 14 years on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) — 10 of them as moderator.
A member of Westport Rotary and an honorary member of the Westport Historical Society advisory council, Joseloff is also a volunteer firefighter, and a former Emergency Medical Technician.
Congratulations on 15 years to WestportNow — and thanks to Gordon Joseloff, its founder, guiding light, and this week’s Unsung Hero.