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Joseph Kastner Edit Profile

editor , journalist , writer

Joseph Kastner was an American nature writer, editor and journalist, who lived and worked in New York, the United States.


Joseph Kastner was born on March 26, 1907 in New York City. He was a son of Aaron Kastner and Fani (Blutreich) Kastner. He had 2 sisters and a brother. He grew up in Manhattan.


Kastner received his education at Yale University. He graduated from it with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in 1930.


Kastner began his career in journalism in 1924 as a copy boy in New York City. He then worked successively at New York World, The New Yorker, and Fortune, all as a writer. He began a thirty-five year association at Life magazine in 1936, first as a writer, then as copy editor and later as consulting editor. He set off on his own as a freelance writer in 1971.


  • Kastner established a reputation as a nature writer, penning books such as A Species of Eternity, which earned a National Book Award nomination. His other books include Evergreens (with James Crockett), A World of Watchers, John James Audubon, The Animal Illustrated, and The Bird Illustrated.

    His writings as a freelance, after retiring from Life, also included articles for Smithsonian and Natural History magazines and book reviews, articles and Op-Ed page essays for The New York Times. He also contributed unsigned editorials, about nature and the environment, to The Times.


  • Other Interests

    Birding, gardening


Kastner was married in 1934 to Barbara Harris, who died in 1985. He is survived by his companion, Judith Mara Gutman; a brother, Alton; two sisters, Beatrice Olson and Clara Sack; two sons, Matthew and Jonathan, and two grandsons.

Aaron Kastner

Fani (Blutreich) Kastner

Jonathan Kastner

Matthew Harris Kastner

Beatrice Olson

Clara Sack

Alton Kastner

Judith Mara Gutman