Dennis Holt, the grandfather of Brooklyn journalism who doggedly covered Downtown’s renaissance, died on June 7 from complications after suffering a fall. He was 77.
Holt, a reporter and columnist for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, covered economic development for more than three decades — offering news, analysis, and a deep historical perspective in his column “Brooklyn Broadside.”
Co-workers and friends said his knowledge came across on the page — and in person.
“[He] conveyed the wisdom and practical intelligence that came with decades of being a careful listener,” said the paper’s publisher J. Dozier Hasty.
“He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.”
Holt was a Kansas-born former political press aide who moved to Brooklyn in the 1960s and became an editor at the Brooklyn Phoenix in 1972.
He started at the Brooklyn Daily Bulletin in 1994 and remained with the Eagle until last fall — using his institutional knowledge and knack for uncovering hard-to-find maps and documents to report on controversial development projects such as Brooklyn Bridge Park, Atlantic Yards, and City Point.
He held fast to his opinions but was willing to share his insight — and sometimes even his scoops — with other journalists.
Former Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman said Holt once gave him a peek at some fascinating archives from the Atlantic Yards site.
“He was the dean of Brooklyn journalism — and always welcoming to newcomers,” Kuntzman said.
Holt is survived by his wife and two children.
Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.