OBITUARY

Mr. Asher Gerecht

November 23, 1922November 18, 2020

Asher Gerecht was born on November 23, 1922 and passed away on November 18, 2020 and is under the care of Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home.

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Mr. Asher Gerecht

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Paul Gill

November 23, 2020

Charlie! Ash’s passing is a loss for many. My CD Pubs experience was a personal and professional highlight. Ash and others there (published author John Bancroft among them) taught me much about researching and writing a story or opinion piece, including the lesson that more words don’t necessarily coney more meaning. And if you didn’t use your own mind and contacts to generate his beloved enterprise stories, you had not put in an honest day’s work. Ash also let people be themselves, though, never equating a reporter enjoying his work—by, for example, learning to program a portable recorder to play back like Alvin the Chipmunk singing Elvis Presley tunes, or dressing like Julia Child on Halloween—to be a distraction or a ne’er so well. I miss Ash’s trademark dangling clip on bow tie, his weekly incantation at staff meetings of the need for more enterprise, and the chances he gave a diverse group of people to read and write and think for a living. There are few greater privileges. To Ash, and the family he leaves behind, I apologize for not making clearer how much I appreciate what he and CD Pubs did for me, and obviously for others as well. Thanks for the memories. — Paul Gill

Vic Simon

November 22, 2020

Like Ash did for John Bancroft, he gave me my first job in journalism. I laugh when I think that I was probably the only person hired to a home-building-related job in Sept 1981, the absolute bottom of the housing depression of that era. The reputation of Ash's publications was such that they still were in business at that time--when mortgage interest rates really were 14% to 18%!!

Ash took a chance on me when my whole "claim to fame" was two op-ed writing pieces. I ended up as a business reporter for 24-25 years! And one of the most foolish things I did in my career was quit CD Publications after 3 and a half years, not because the new job seemed better, but just different.

Ash had a rock of character. It was of course reflected in his journalistic standards: the correct facts, the right headline and big picture, forward-looking impacts, and good, readable writing. Wow, I learned from Ash Gerecht! And I hope I partially met his standards.

Though I haven't seen them in decades, I also would like to thank Mike for his tremendous help when I needed it.

John Bancroft

November 22, 2020

Ash gave me my first job in journalism, opening a door that led to a lifetime of fruitful and challenging work. I was 31 and barely qualified to be an intern. Sitting in front of his desk on 16th Street – the corner-office suite was for the editorial staff – I apparently gave the right answers, about wanting to live up to my own father’s work ethic, about starting from the ground floor.

He was struck by my background in the Nevada gaming industry and mentioned an Army buddy who was a gambler. Then he gave me the job: something around minimum wage for 20 hours a week that eventually grew to full-time. I still have Capitol Hill press credentials because Ash fought for them a long time ago, and my CD Publications profit-sharing fund at T Rowe Price.

Ash taught me a lot about the business, as did Byron Fielding, Jim Breagy and others. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that paved the way to homeownership, a family of my own, and work that doesn’t really seem like work because I like it so much.

Barbara and I offer our condolences to Gloria, Mike, Ellen and the rest of Ash’s family and friends. You are deeply in our thoughts.

Jim Rogers

November 19, 2020

I cannot adequately describe the crushing sadness I felt upon receiving the news of Ash Gerecht’s passing. He was such an incredible human being, I guess I thought he would live forever. Such a foolish thought and Ash would be the first to tell me so.

Still, he was bigger than life to me. He was a living legend.

In 1962, he single-handedly forged a newsletter publishing company that would eventually change the way investigative journalism is practiced and reported in Washington, DC. And his hard-fought and determined efforts in the early 1970s won newsletter reporters congressional press gallery credentialing rights.

Ash could have legitimately laid claim to any number of professions: soldier, writer, storyteller, journalist, publisher, businessman, salesman, rabbi, philosopher, consultant, athlete... The list seems endless.

Well into his 80s and beyond, he would make daily visits to the local YMCA where he spent hours at a time swimming in its indoor pool. Often after his daily swim workout, he would drop by CD Publications, the company he created in 1962, to speak with reporters and editors, encouraging and sharing with us the benefit of the lessons he learned along the long path of his life.

I was privileged to share many private moments with Ash. Sometimes we would discuss business. Other times we shared war stories. His were tales of the Army and World War II. Mine were about the Marines and Vietnam. And then there were those special moments when we talked about families, Ash’s favorite subject.

Some say life is a long and winding road that abruptly ends often when we least expect it. I don’t think Ash Gerecht would necessarily agree with that. For him, life was a grand adventure, full of bright times and occasional dark moments – but always an adventure.

The world is a better place for having Ash Gerecht in it for a little while. I shall miss him sorely.

Rest in peace, my friend ... my mentor.

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