10/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Clay Felker Memorial; Luminaries Honor New York Magazine Founder

Several hundred people -- a good many of them graying and decorated veterans of the golden era of magazines -- gathered at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in Manhattan on Monday evening for a memorial service honoring Clay Felker, the magazine visionary who died on July 1 at the age of 82.

They included Tom Wolfe, Milton Glaser, Gloria Steinem, Richard Reeves and Mr. Felker's wife, Gail Sheehy.

And leave it to the writers mentored by Mr. Felker to zero in on the telling details.

His stepdaughter, Maura Sheehy, recalled him as a "magic" fellow whose closet brimmed with "a waterfall" of neckties that she once tried -- and failed -- to count. "It seemed as if you could never get to the back of them," she said.

Gail Sheehy told of applying bronzing makeup to Mr. Felker's cancer-weathered face before they went to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center to hear jazz and enjoy a last night on the town in the weeks before his death.

And Mr. Wolfe, the grand master of status signifiers, recalled -- not for the first time, as his faithful readers know -- his fascination with how odd Mr. Felker's tiny, high-arched feet looked in a pair of bespoke shoes, supporting his large frame.

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