Norman Nadel

BAR HARBOR — Norman Nadel, a former resident of Mount Desert Island who had been a drama critic of the New York World Telegram and Sun, died Oct. 25, 2010 in Naples, Fla. He was 95.


Born June 19, 1915 in Newark, N.J., he grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, graduating in 1938 with majors in psychology and music.

Following his graduation from Denison, he joined the Columbus (Ohio) Citizen as a makeup editor, then as radio columnist, drama, movie and music critic, and drama editor.

In 1940, he married children’s librarian Martha Smith and they had three children.

During World War II he joined the U.S. Army, and was assigned to do psychological testing and placement. He was bandmaster of an army band on Governor’s Island in New York; more than 50 years later he was awarded a medal for his work with the army band.

After the war he continued his newspaper work in Ohio and co-founded the Columbus Philharmonic Orchestra for which he was first trombonist. He began traveling nationwide to give lectures, and in 1961 he became chief drama critic for the New York World Telegram and Sun, and later for its successor, the New York World Journal Tribune. He served several terms as president of the New York Drama Critics Circle, and on the Tony Awards. An avid sailor, he settled on Staten Island so he could have easy access to his sailboat moored on the island’s waterfront.

He became cultural affairs writer for the Scripps-Howard Newspaper chain, and later critic-at-large for the Newspaper Enterprise Association and the Independent News Alliance, with his work appearing in more than 700 newspapers in the United States and Canada.

After retiring in 1980, he settled on Mount Desert Island where he served on the music advisory panel of the Maine Cultural Council and the Arcady Music Festival in Bar Harbor.

In the late 1980s, he divided his time between Maine in the summer and Naples, Fla. in the winter.

His wife of 56 years, Martha Smith Nadel, died in 1997.

He married Maureen Armour of Naples, in 1998. She survives him, as do his two sons, David, of Douglaston, Queens, a retired New York City police lieutenant, and Mark, of Canton, Ohio, a health industry executive; a daughter, Arlene Nadel Hammer, of New York City, an actress and early childhood teacher; nine grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Know when to pay your respects.