Dennis Flanagan, whose nearly four-decade tenure as editor of Scientific American transformed science journalism and educated untold millions about the wonders of science, passed away on January 14. The cause of his death was prostate cancer.
Flanagan's death falls only a few months after that of Gerard Piel, Scientific American's former publisher and chairman. Flanagan and Piel, along with a small group of investors, purchased the magazine in 1947 and changed it from a rather quirky mix of science, inventions and mechanical hobbycraft into the world's premier voice of authoritative, intelligent science coverage. Both retired from active involvement with the magazine in the mid-1980s, when they sold it to its current owner, Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck.