Frank Manzon dies: Former Washington Post circulation executive was 87

Frank Manzon Jr. joined The Washington Post in 1954. In 1984, he was named vice president of circulation.
Frank Manzon Jr. joined The Washington Post in 1954. In 1984, he was named vice president of circulation. (The Washington Post)
  Enlarge Photo    
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 7, 2011; 6:29 PM

Frank Manzon Jr., who in more than 30 years at The Washington Post rose from a distributor of the newspaper to its top circulation executive, died Feb. 5 of respiratory failure at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia. He was 87 and had been a resident of Berwyn Heights.

Mr. Manzon joined The Post in 1954 when the newspaper merged with his employer at the time, the Washington Times-Herald. Three decades later, in 1984, he was named vice president of circulation.

The previous year, Post publisher Katharine Graham had chosen Mr. Manzon as one of the first four recipients of the Eugene Meyer Award, named after the financier who bought The Post at a Depression-era bankruptcy sale.

"Everyone who knew Frank Manzon would use the same words to describe him: unbelievably hard-working; respected; decent and considerate to those he worked with; loyal to them and to the Post," Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Co., wrote in an e-mail.

Mr. Manzon retired from The Post about 1990.

Frank Merto Manzon Jr. was born July 12, 1923, in Casper, Wyo., where his father was working for the Pullman Co., a railroad car manufacturer. The family moved to Washington when Mr. Manzon was a boy.

He graduated in 1941 from what is now known as McKinley Technology High School in the District and joined the Army the following year. He was charged with installing radio equipment for night landings in the Pacific theater of World War II.

After the war, Mr. Manzon returned to the Washington area and began working in the late 1940s as a distributor for the Times-Herald. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1951.

Two sons preceded him in death: Frank Manzon III in 1961 and Philip Manzon in 1980.

His wife of 54 years, Beulah Terrell Manzon, died in 2000.

Survivors include three children, Kenneth Manzon of Upper Marlboro and Suzan Lape and Andrew Manzon, both of Bowie; two sisters, Barbara Manzon of Woodstock, Va., and Donna Beard of Lanham; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company