Friends remembered: Jack Markowitz

Jack Markowitz

Jack Markowitz, 85, of Pittsburgh died April 4, 2017.  He was a friend of the Commission, having written A Walk on the Crust of Hell (The Stephen Greene Press, Brattleboro, Vt., 1973), an anthology of accounts of the heroic acts of awardees of the Carnegie Medal.  Markowitz, then the business editor of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, took the title of his book from the case of Joseph C. Wiest, who was awarded the medal in 1971 for carrying a stricken steel worker to safety across the crust of hot slag.  Markowitz writes in the book’s introduction:  “If there be, in this world of forms, documents, and filing cabinets, any sort of official report worthy of regard as a literary form unto itself, it must be a Carnegie Hero Fund field report.  Some I have consulted run to a dozen or more legal-sized, single-spaced pages:  great, grey regions of tightly packed words, names, and numbers—but how the suspense builds and the drama leaps from those heavily-laden pages of fact after fact after fact!”