Saville Davis

NOTABLE among the Monitor's Renaissance men was Saville R. Davis. He wrote in this space during watershed years that drew on his range of interests and skills - though he saved his piano playing for his few hours at home. He was chief editorial writer during the Kennedy-Johnson administration, attuned to the time: healing a nation shaken by assassination, fostering each hard-won step toward civil rights, easing the burdens of the poor in a land of plenty, capitalizing on Washington's new enthusiasm for the sciences that shape the future and the arts that lift the spirit. Thus some of Mr. Davis's most graceful and pungent prose appeared here without the byline that so often led the Monitor's front page over four decades beginning in the 1930s. The stories came from around the world as posts changed: State Department correspondent, Mediterranean correspondent, London bureau chief, American news editor, managing editor, Washington bureau chief. But Saville - we can't keep calling him Mr. Davis - was always Saville. His wife, Anita, was always by his side figuratively when s he couldn't be actually. "Isn't this fun!" Saville would say, rushing on long legs to the composing room to cope with what others might call a calamity. His kindling enthusiasm reached to the audiences he indefatigably addressed and the institutions he served: the BBC, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Wheelock College, Brookings Institution, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, US National Committee for UNESCO. Saville was president of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association, the International Institute for Girls i n Spain, and, in the early '80s, The Mother Church of his Christian Science religion. Whenever we met people from one of these organizations, their eyes would light up to discover we all knew Saville. Many will be saddened to hear of his passing. Then they'll think of Saville, and eyes will light up again.

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