RYE, N.Y. -- Arthura “Atra” Baer Cavataro, a former resident of Rye, N.Y., and Wilton, Conn., and a musician, journalist and speech writer, died Wednesday, July 30, at St. Mary’s Hospice in Waterbury, Conn. She was 87.
Cavataro was a columnist at the New York Journal-American newspaper, a leading afternoon daily, through the 1950s and 1960s. Starting as a copy girl, she worked her way up in the newspaper industry.
Her reporting assignments included the city desk, national news, feature writing and television, music and film critic. During the many lengthy newspaper labor union strikes of the 1960s, she wrote for many magazines and newspapers, including the National Enquirer, Weight Watchers and the New York Magazine. She also penned screenplays, songs and operas.
Born Jan. 25, 1927, in New York City to the noted Hearst syndicated columnist and humorist Arthur “Bugs” Baer and Marjorie Cassidy, she was the goddaughter of New York City Mayor James J. “Jimmy” Walker.
She married a fellow journalist Nicholas A. Cavataro on Jan. 21, 1955 in New York City. He died on May 5, 1994.
She is survived by five children: Nicholas J. Cavataro of Greenwich and his wife Susan, Lisa Cavataro of Norwalk, Conn., Richard Cavataro and his wife Elissa of Rye, Arthur Baer Cavataro and his wife Carin of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and Mary Cavataro and her spouse Laura LaBosky of Wilton, Conn. She also leaves behind 11 grandchildren: Stephanie Cavataro, Lauren Cavataro, Matthew Cavataro, Kristi Cavataro, James Cavataro, Kathryn Cavataro, Ryan Cavataro, Nicole Cavataro, Tyler Cavataro, Benjamin Cavataro and Hayley Cavataro. She is also survived by her half-brother, Arthur “Bugs” Baer Jr. and his wife Joan of Madison, Conn.
Donations in her name are encouraged to the Rye Free Reading Room Library and the Westchester Humane Society.