Eugene Thomas Maleska

Eugene Thomas Maleska

Eugene Thomas Maleska (January 6, 1916 – August 3, 1993) was a U.S. crossword puzzle constructor and editor.

Born in 1916, in Jersey City, and he received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Montclair State College and began his career teaching Latin and English at a junior high school in Palisades Park, New Jersey. He married Jean (c1915-1983) and had two children: Merryl Maleska Wilbur and Gary Maleska. He moved to Frederick Douglass Junior High School in Manhattan in 1940 as an English teacher. In 1946 he became an assistant to the principal at P.S. 169, then principal at P.S. 192 in the early 1950's. He took a yearlong sabbatical to attend Harvard University, where he earned a doctorate in education. He then was the principal at J.H.S. 164 from 1955 to 1958. From 1962 to 1967, he was an assistant superintendent of schools in District 8 in the Bronx. He then spent three years as an associate director of the Center for Urban Education before returning as the superintendent of District 8. He was the only person to have a New York City public school named for him during his lifetime: Intermediate School 174 in the Bronx, dedicated in 1973, the year he retired as superintendent. He became the crossword editor for the New York Times in 1977, succeeding Will Weng. Besides numerous collections of puzzles, Maleska also published Maleska's Favorite Word Games and A Pleasure in Words (which included a chapter on constructing crossword puzzles). The Times had previously published dozens of crosswords that he had submitted as a freelance contributor. He married Carol Atkinson as his second wife on March 11, 1992. Carol had previously been married. He died in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1993 of throat cancer. He also had a home in Wareham, Massachusetts.


*New York Times; August 5, 1993; [ "Eugene T. Maleska, Crossword Editor, Dies at 77."] Eugene T. Maleska, who kept sharp-penciled readers hopscotching down and across as the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times, died on Tuesday at his home in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was 77 years old and also had a home in Wareham, Mass. He died of throat cancer, said his wife, Carol Atkinson-Maleska.

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