Barry Hoffman, Co-Founder of HealthDay News, Dead at 79

Barry Hoffman

FRIDAY, June 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Barry Hoffman, a founding member of HealthDay, one of the world's largest daily online health and medical news services, died unexpectedly at his home in Dallas on May 26. He was 79.

Barry took with him an insatiable curiosity about life, along with unparalleled news judgment and an ability to awe colleagues through his sheer enthusiasm for getting the story right.

Across the years, he mentored many journalists at many organizations, all of whom never forgot what he taught them.

During his 50 years in the news business, Barry worked as a reporter and editor for major news organizations including the New York Tribune, WNEW Radio in New York City, and United Press International Audio Network News Service.

He held top editorial positions with Gannett and Times Mirror newspapers. And as a veteran of the U.S. Army, he served in Vietnam from 1968-69 as a broadcast specialist and combat reporter.

But HealthDay may have been his best inspiration. Always looking to the future, Barry saw the internet as the new "news highway" — and he was taking a drive on it, come what may.

In 1998, he helped pioneer the notion of a daily news wire devoted solely to evidence-based, consumer-focused health news. And his journalist friends flocked to his call.

"Barry was instrumental not only in building the foundation for HealthDay, but also for setting the standard for health and medical reporting that is carefully researched, based on credible sources and completely independent of any financial interests," said Andy Meyers, CEO of HealthDay. "Barry was the North Star that shaped the direction of a new brand of journalism which surely has improved and extended more lives than he could have ever imagined."

After retirement, Barry returned to Texas and became involved in the Press Club of Dallas and the Rotary Club. He also took up acting and continued spreading his knowledge of, and joy in, the news during classes he taught at Dallas College Brookhaven Campus.

Barry also took up book editing, and had just finished a Vietnam War-themed novel.

Survivors include his partner Nicole Hansard; his sister Karen Parker (Arthur); his daughters Jennifer Jones (Joel) and Alison Hoffman (Robert) (from his marriage to Joyce Hoffman); his grandchildren, Ethan, Rebecca, Elizabeth; his niece Deborah Cantor (Larry) and nephew David Parker, and his lifelong best friend Eddie Mason.

A celebration of his life will be held June 8 in Dallas at Temple Emanu-El. Another memorial service will be held June 13 at Congregation Kol Ami in White Plains, N.Y.

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