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Craig Claiborne

Age: 79

food journalist who served as The New York Times food critic and editor from 1959 to 1987. In that post, he devised an often copied ratings system and became one of the country's most respected — and feared — culinary writers. Claiborne encouraged Americans to broaden their gastronomic tastes and experiment in the kitchen. He wrote more than 20 books, including The New York Times Cookbook. In his most extravagant caper, he and his partner, chef Pierre Franey, amassed a $4,000 check for a 31–course meal in a Paris restaurant in 1974.

Died: Manhattan, Jan. 22, 2000

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