Harry Kaiser, longtime publisher of Skiing magazine, dies at the age of 91

Harry Kaiser was always around the water. Sometimes the water was salty. Sometimes it was frozen.

Kaiser, who grew up in Baldwin, dug mussels in the summer.

A career in advertising sales led to Kaiser becoming the publisher of Skiing magazine, a title he held for 27 years. He was such a legend in the ski world and the publishing industry that he was inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015.

After his retirement in 1996, Kaiser and his wife Carolyn moved full-time to Captiva Island, Florida.

At the time of his death on October 23, at the age of 91, Kaiser was commissioner of the Captiva Erosion Prevention District, a state of Florida’s beach and coastal conservation district.

It was a job he started in 2008 and continued right up until he passed, according to his daughter, Carolyn Kaiser Ekstrom.

“He enjoyed life to the fullest, to say the least,” said Kaiser Ekstrom, a resident of Rockville Center. “He stayed very active, even until the last week when he was at work. He did what he loved, and he always did it with such cheers. He was always such a positive person.”

Kaisers, who married in 1955, lived in the Rockville Center and raised five children – four girls and a boy. They have 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

After graduating from Fordham University, Kaiser served in the Army before returning to Long Island and getting his first job at a company that printed Yellow Pages phone books, according to a 2016 profile that appeared in Newsday.

This led to Kaiser’s career in advertising sales. He was so productive that in 1969 he was named publisher of Skiing magazine.

A casual skier, Kaiser really started hitting the slopes.

“He was a limited skier before,” Kaiser Eckstrom said. “My mother and her family introduced him to skiing, but when he got his first job as a publisher and he was hired by the magazine Skiing, his love for it really grew. He actually became a very good skier.”

In the 1980s, when Skiing magazine was sold to the Times Mirror, Kaiser ran the entire magazine department, which included Skiing magazine and its longtime competitor Ski magazine.

Kaiser’s first name was “Henry”, but he always went after Harry. He told Newsday in 2016 that there were two times he was called Henry: in the Army and when he was inducted at his Hall of Fame inauguration ceremony.

His former colleagues all laughed and said, “Who is it?” said Kaiser.

But everyone in the ski world and the publishing industry knew who he was. Kaisers is referred to as “The First Family of Skiing” in his Hall of Fame biography.

Justin Koski, Hall’s CEO, said in a statement: “Harry was an iconic journalist and had one of the biggest microphones in all of skiing in the early days. He also knew how to use his loud voice to get more people to watch skiing.The ski magazine was what people were waiting for to get excited about skiing.Harry was about to ski in the 70s and 80s what action videos and promo clips are on the internet for today skiers and snowboarders generating stoke while waiting for snow to cover the slopes. Harry was a legend. ”

Kaiser is survived by his wife, Carolyn; sister Marie Burns of Southhold; son Henry (Hank) Kaiser of Remsenburg; daughters Carolyn Kaiser Ekstrom and Lorrie Kaiser Rainis of Rockville Center, Cindy Kaiser of Captiva Island and Catherine Castelli of Riverside, Conn .; his grandchildren Coral, Cie Lorraine, Bradford, Christof, Hunter, Henry, Cameron, Jackson, Harrison and Kiley; and his great-grandchildren Tech, Blaise, Luna and Ava.

A memorial service and celebration of life is held in the spring. On the beach, of course.


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