Peter Alan Young, 87, of Port Chester, NY, died peacefully on July 12, 2021, at the Enclave at Rye Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. He was born to Robert and Ann Zella Young in 1934 in Bethlehem, PA, and is predeceased by brothers Bob, Don and Bruce and infant sister Florence. Peter graduated from Deerfield Academy and held a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a graduate degree from the Columbia School of Journalism.
In the late 1960s, Young developed special coverage of the fiftieth anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution during his two-and-a-half years as Moscow bureau chief for Life magazine; he also profiled Russia’s rich artistic, literary and cultural assets for the magazine’s US readers. He subsequently reported on the 1968 Soviet invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia as Life’s Vienna bureau chief and covered events in the Middle East as a correspondent based in Paris, producing a special issue that was among the first to explore Arab-Israeli relations and the Palestinian question. Among his many other contributions as a reporter, Young interviewed Chile’s Marxist leader Salvador Allende shortly before Allende’s assassination and former president George H. W. Bush during his role as ambassador to the United Nations and during the extended debates concerning the admission of Communist China to this international body.
Young served as managing editor of Saturday Review during the 1970s and became editor-in-chief of Archaeology magazine in 1987. Readership expanded during his twenty-three years leading the magazine, which is the educational and outreach arm of the Archaeological Institute of America and informs and engages archaeology enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds in the facts and mysteries of our human past. He also spearheaded the development of the television series Archaeology for the Learning Channel (TLC), which further expanded the subject’s reach to a vast audience. In 1996, he received the Special Achievement Award of the Society of Professional Archaeologists, and the magazine was awarded a Gold Medal from the National Arts Club (NY) for its outstanding coverage of the field of archaeology.
In retirement, Young authored three books: Mission to Moscow: A Cold War Look at the Warmth of the Russian People, My Storybook Life: A Journey Through the Pages of Time and A Walk in the Woods: Selected Poems.
He volunteered in the community by leading poetry and literary groups at the Osborn Home in Rye, NY, and performed for residents at various nursing homes in Westchester County. Young was an accomplished classical pianist and harpsichordist specializing in Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart and Beethoven and was a much-sought-after baritone, singing in the choir at Christ’s Church, Rye, NY, and a member of the Greenwich Choral Society. He was also a member of New York’s National Arts Club and the American Yacht Club.
Peter Young is survived by his wife, Mary Luehrsen of Port Chester, and their daughter, Amanda of Manhattan, and by his previous wife, Sarah (Tilly) McCardell Young, and their children: Peter and his wife, Jaime, and daughters Madelyn, Violet and Chloe, who reside in California; Abby and her husband, John Knittel, and daughters Lydia and Sadie, who reside in Westchester County; and Hugh and his wife, Chantal Boisclair, and daughter Camille, who reside in Montreal.
The family extends profound thanks to the care team and all the staff at the Enclave at Rye Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Urban Zen at the Enclave, Hospice of Westchester, Greenwich Hospital Center for Healthy Aging and the many compassionate caregivers and friends who have enriched and supported Peter and his family.
Donations to honor the long and remarkable life of Peter Young can be made to Christ’s Church Music program. A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Peter Alan Young, please visit our floral store.
Christ Church Music Program
1 Rectory Street, Rye NY 10573