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Barbara Ettorre, former WWD journalist, died Sunday morning. She was 79.

Her death was confirmed by her brother, James Ettorre, who said she died of a short illness. He noted her sense of humor, voracious reading habit as well as her professional accomplishments. “She was a lifelong journalist, and she had a very, very funny sense of humor,” he said. “She weighed in on things that she knew very little about, and would go on at length.

“She interviewed everybody, from [Alfred] Hitchcock to Lucille Ball and various rock icons,” Ettorre continued. “She was a rock ‘n’ roll critic for a while in Chicago.”

It was in Chicago that she met Pete Born, now WWD editor-at-large. “I met Barbara Ettorre when we were both working in Chicago in the early ’70s… we both ended up in New York and she was instrumental in getting me an interview at WWD for a reporting job under the legendary Marvin Klapper in the fabric department. We both worked at WWD for about six months when she moved to the New York Times,” he said.

“As a writer, she had a very smooth feature touch and a killer vocabulary. As a reporter, Barbara was immediately engaging. She put everyone at ease and commanded the floor. People fell in love with her. Her interests were broad and deep,” Born said.