San Diego recently lost a favorite son. Tom Blair, the second editor-in-chief of San Diego Magazine, died of complications from Alzheimer’s on January 26, 2021.
I had the good fortune of meeting Tom when he interviewed me as the new owner of San Diego Magazine back in 1994. Tom was the “three-dot columnist” for the Union-Tribune at the time. He had been working there for 23 years, and his column was the highest-rated at the newspaper. It was his first job after graduating from San Diego State University in 1971.
During that interview, I asked him if he would like to be the editor of San Diego Magazine. Tom knew everyone in San Diego, and everyone in San Diego knew him. I thought he would be perfect. Eventually I was fortunate enough to lure him to the publication.
Tom was a major contributor to the growth of San Diego Magazine, and he served as editor-in-chief from 1995 until 2010. He lifted the publication from near extinction to one of the leading city magazines in the country.
Tom was also an amazing entertainer who loved to sing. He performed at many local charity balls, and we had some great company holiday parties together. Tom was a consummate professional and a good friend. He loved life and he will be sorely missed.
The San Diego Magazine staff and I offer our deepest condolences to Tom’s family. We are planning a tribute to Tom’s life and legacy in our April issue.
Publisher, San Diego Magazine