Robert Signer died peacefully at the Hebrew Home in Rockville on Nov. 18, after a short illness. He was 80 years old and lived in Takoma Park. A journalist whose lifelong subject of study was the rise and fall of great newspapers, Robert “Bob” was born in New York City on Feb. 19, 1942, to Herbert and Esther Signer (née Pingaro). He began his journalism career as editor-in-chief of Ticker, the student newspaper at City College of New York Baruch College, and then as a copy boy at the New York Post.
He worked at the Chicago Daily News and was its last metropolitan editor when it closed. He was an editor at The Washington Post and later conducted research at the Library of Congress twice a week for nearly a decade for a monograph about the rise and fall of the New York World.
He earned a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a second master’s in American civilization from New York University.
Bob is survived by his children, Michael (Emily L. Blout) of Charlottesville, Va.; Mira (Abbie Kinnebrew) of Richmond; Rebecca (Sean Roche) of Falls Church; and Rachel (Anton Van Klopper) of Adelaide Hills, Australia. He is also survived by his sister Deborah Signer and brother-in-law Mark Balaschak, of Bethesda; nephews, Eric Drummer of Evanston, Ill., and David Balaschak and Matthew Balaschak, of Maryland; former wife, Marjorie Brahms Signer, of Arlington; and seven grandchildren. Donations may be made to an organization that helps people in need of food, shelter or healthcare.