Students, Journalists Remember Ben Burns

Ben Burns, a longtime Grosse Pointe resident and prominent journalist, has died of acute myeloid leukemia, his family told the Detroit Free Press.

Many people shared their memories Friday of Ben Burns, a Grosse Pointe resident, Wayne State University professor and prominent journalist who passed away.

Burns was publisher of Grosse Pointe Today and the head of the journalism department at Wayne State. He died of acute myeloid leukemia, his family told the Detroit Free Press.

Burns also was the former executive editor at the Detroit News and the editor and publisher at The Macomb Daily and Daily Tribune.

Burns was very active in the community locally, as well, and served the Grosse Pointes in many ways. According to his obituary on Grosse Pointe Today, Burns was a member of Grosse Pointe Memorial Church and served as secretary of Serving Older Citizens, president of the Rotary Club of Grosse Pointe, president of the Grosse Pointe Senior Men’s Club, and president of the Grosse Pointe Ecumenical Men’s Breakfast. Burns also championed February's Grosse Pointe Library millage.

He is survived by his wife Beverly, four children and six grandchildren.

Michigan Patch created a Storify to share what others were saying about Burns. You can share your thoughts and memories in the comments section below.

Funeral arrangements were pending, as of Friday afternoon.

Judith Preston September 09, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Ben was so supportive through the Grosse Pointe News when North High School adopted hundreds of soldiers at the request of General Bob Brown several years ago. I think at the time he had a son in the Marines. He was always asking for and publishing letters from these soldiers. He also helped us launch the military showcase we had at school for 7 years by getting the word out to the community. He made a difference and that in itself is what we all hope we can do in this world. Job well done, Ben. Judi Preston
Jay Hackleman September 09, 2012 at 02:55 AM
An effective advocate for the causes he espoused. RIP
Pete Waldmeir, GP Woods September 10, 2012 at 03:53 PM
First time I met Ben he was working as a part-time student assistant in the Michigan State football press box. I was covering Duffy Daugherty's Spartans in those days. Ben ended up being my boss at The Detroit News. We went thru the transition from the Evening News Association to the Gannett Corp. purchase together. When Ben finally got fed up with Gannett and decided to leave The News, we had a going-away dinner together at the old London Chop House. During the dinner, Ben looked over at the Chop's famous No. 1 booth and saw that Joe Stroud, of the Free Press, was dining with the Rev. Billy Graham. Ben asked me, "Did you ever meet Billy Graham?" I said no. "Well," he said, "let's go meet him." So we left our table and walked over. "Rev. Graham," Ben said, "I'm Ben Burns and this is my friend, Pete Waldmeir." Rev. Graham looked up and smiled and Ben went on. "We just wanted to tell you that we're only going to get drunk and chase women tonight...we're not going to dance!" Bill Graham smiled even broader. "Oh, go ahead and dance." he said. "I won't tell anyone."
Erwin M. Fletcher September 12, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Great story Pete, nice break from your usual mindless drivel.
Pete Waldmeir, GP Woods September 14, 2012 at 05:49 PM
U oughta know mindless drivel...


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