Long-time Golf Editor, Fred Behringer passes away at age 85

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Marian Castner
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Re-printed from the NJSGA.org

In his very first editorial for New Jersey State Golf Magazine, editor-in-chief Fred Behringer realized the potential of the publication in the Garden State.

“We are excited about publishing a magazine about golf in New Jersey because it is such a remarkable state for golf,” he wrote in the April, 2004, issue. “Excellent golfers are here in New Jersey - amateurs, professionals, women, seniors and juniors. It’s a great place for golf, period!”

Fred Behringer, who passed away at age 85 on Dec. 3, never deviated from that proclamation in telling the story of the New Jersey State Golf Association and "all things golf" in the state. He served as editor-in-chief from the beginning of the magazine in 2004 until his retirement in 2017. Each issue included an insightful editorial from Fred as well as his bylined articles. The publication is known today as New Jersey Golf magazine.

Indeed, in the Philadelphia-New Jersey area, Behringer was the dean of golf writers and editors, having also served as editor of the magazine of the Golf Association of Philadelphia.

“With his writing skill, our magazine took off and thrived. It was first-class and he was the one who made it happen,” said Ben Del Vento, chairman of the NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation and a Board of Trustees member at the time of Behringer’s hiring. Five years later, Del Vento served a two-year term as NJSGA president and worked hand-in-hand with Fred in planning issues. 

“He was so sincere. He gave a wealth of knowledge to our magazine, our association and our Caddie Scholarship Foundation. He had knowledge and helped guide us as he brought the magazine along. We would have never had such a successful magazine without Fred Behringer.”

The resident of Ocean City, N.J., received the Freedom of Speech award from Temple University and the Ambler Jaycees Distinguished Service award. He was inducted into the Ambler/Wissahickon (Pa.) High School Hall of Fame in 1991.

The graduate of Brown University ran the editorial side of Montgomery Newspapers for more than four decades. He was long considered by the writers and editors in the newsroom as the final authority on reportorial and ethical issues, until his retirement in 2001.

He wrote a book about a couple and their 15 children entitled “Where Should We Have Stopped?

During his career, Mr. Behringer was an active member of numerous newspaper societies and was known for promoting journalistic ethics and media access to public records. He also spent 12 years teaching courses in mass media law, ethics, writing and editing at Temple University.

He was a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors, the Penn State University-Pennsylvania Society of Newspapers Liaison Committee, and Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, serving as president of each. Behringer also served as a national ethics chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists, co-chairman of the 1980 national First Amendment Congress and as secretary-treasurer of the First Amendment Coalition of Pennsylvania.

Memorial contributions in Fred Behringer’s name can be made to NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation, 3 Golf Drive Suite 206, Kenilworth, NJ 07033

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