Monitor: Liz Tilberis
Tributes to Liz Tilberis, former editor of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, who died from ovarian cancer this week
Saturday 24 April 1999
HER GREATEST achievement was in her prolonged battle against ovarian cancer. When the disease struck, she proceeded to speak publicly about it, to raise funds for cancer charities and to write coherently about her condition. In this, as in her whole career, Liz Tilberis helped and comforted untold thousands of women. (Mimi Spencer)
The New York Times
ELIZABETH TILBERIS transformed Harper's Bazaar from a tired magazine into a viable voice in fashion while she battled ovarian cancer and raised awareness of the disease. She was highly respected for her ability as an editor, her warmth and her good humor in the face of debilitating treatments to halt the spread of the cancer that ultimately took her life. While hospitalized in December 1993 and again in the summer of 1995 she oversaw each issue of the magazine, which she had edited since 1992.
ALTHOUGH LIZ Tilberis had many of the characteristics of women who reach the top in fashion journalism, such as a ruthless determination and the ability to undermine the efforts of rivals by word, thought and deed, she was not really a fashion person. She was far too pleasant for that. A born maverick, she was always strong, wilful and disinclined to allow others to write rules for her, and nobody was surprised that she kept her fighting spirit to the end. She fought death with humour and panache. As she said in her book "I can't afford to have bad hair days. I've seen the dark side of the moon." It engulfed her too early.
NO ONE ever fought harder for life than Elizabeth Tilberis, the ordinary girl from the Midlands who by dint of talent, humour and guts, conquered New York as editor of Harper's Bazaar. She could call the Princess of Wales her close friend and even seemed to have defied ovarian cancer. But then, beneath her feminine demeanour and that wicked sense of humour, she did have a core of well-polished steel. She put it down to the doggedness of her Irish genes. (Brenda Polan)
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