In Memoriam: Doug Feiden 1952-2023

The veteran reporter on New York City tabloids was the chief investigative reporter at Straus Media’s Manhattan publications from 2017 to 2020. He died on July 23 at age 70 after battling colon cancer.

| 21 Aug 2023 | 04:48

Veteran newspaper man Douglas Feiden passed on July 23 at age 70. From 2017 to 2020 he was the chief investigative reporter at Straus Media’s Manhattan publications: Our Town, West Side Spirit, Chelsea News and Our Town Downtown. He worked his way up from a copy boy on the New York Post to first become a reporter, then City Hall bureau chief, and later the City Editor. He also worked at the Daily News as City Hall Bureau chief and eventually as a member of the paper’s editorial board. His sister Karyn Feiden said the cause of death was colon cancer. He would have turned 71 on July 31.

“Some newspapermen, it is said, are great reporters, others are great writers. Douglas Feiden, who died on July 23, 2023 at the age of 70, was both,” the family said in its obituary.

Aside from the News, the Post and Straus Media, his work in a career that spanned almost five decades appeared in Crain’s New York Business, the Sag Harbor Express and the Wall Street Journal.

He married another Post reporter, Lucette Lagando, who went on to the Wall Street Journal. They were married for 23 years until her death in 2019 at age 62.

Feiden’s journalism career began when he landed a position as a copy boy at the New York Post, after taking a leave of absence from Bard College in 1973.

Recalling his early days in journalism at the Post, Feiden once told his former colleague Myron Rushetzky that “I started on Labor Day 1973. Mets won the pennant, war broke out in the Middle East, and Spiro Agnew resigned, all within two days. I thought, ‘Wow is it always like this’?”

In the years that followed, Feiden covered City Hall, Albany, and countless political campaigns, detoured to work the business, crime, culture, and real estate beats, and repeatedly broke front-page investigative stories. Feiden craved detail, human and geographic, loved local stories, often elevated blue-collar voices, and developed a mischievous fascination with the Mafia that led him to write The 10-Million Dollar Getaway: The Inside Story of the Lufthansa heist.

”It’s terrible. He was such a mensch,” said former colleague Colin Miner. “Actually, he and Lucette were just great, sweet, helpful. Now they’re both gone. My heart hurts.”

Recalled another Post colleague, Charles Carillo, “I was a copyboy in 1978 and I remember how young Doug the reporter would pace around the South Street newsroom, like an athlete who couldn’t wait to get into the game. He’d dive into his stories, like the Lufthansa heist at JFK, later immortalized in the movie “Goodfellas.” Great laugh, great attitude. The guy enjoyed his life.”

Cynthia Fagan, an Upper West Side resident and Post colleague recalled that one of her very first encounters with Feiden was when she and two other Post reporters were “jumping out of an airplane” for a story on sky diving in Lakewood, N.J.

Doug was predeceased by his wife, Lucette, and his father, Barry Feiden. He is survived by his 98 year old mother, Barbara Feiden, sister, Karyn Feiden (David Elsasser) of New York City; a brother, Wayne Feiden (Denise Green) of Northampton, Mass.; siblings -in-law, Suzette Lagnado, Ezra and Monica Lagnado, and Isaac Lagnado (New York City); and a passel of favorite nieces and nephews—Lisa Hai Feiden, Alex Diaz de Villalvilla, Caroline Lagnado Miller, and Evelyn Lagnado.

Shiva was held in the home of Karyn Feiden and David Elasser on Central Park West on July 26 and July 27. The family said a memorial service will be held in September.