By Leader Staff
When Jack Thomas was just starting out as a journalist, he was hired by the Everett Leader Herald and worked the city of Everett as a beat reporter.
Thomas went on to become one of the Globe’s most masterful journalistic voices in a long career that lasted nearly all his adult life.
He was a man for all seasons who read a lot, who enjoyed candlelight dinners, who worked as the Globe ombudsman for many years, who went undercover for stories about the abusive Massachusetts prison system and life on the street.
“A reporter, columnist, city editor, and ombudsman during more than four decades at the Globe, Mr. Thomas wrote a powerful Sunday Globe Magazine essay last year when he was diagnosed with cancer. He was 83 when he died Saturday in his Cambridge home,” wrote Globe obituary writer, Bryan Marquard.
“I just wish I could stay a little longer,” Thomas wrote in July 2021.
“As the saying goes, fate has dealt me one from the bottom of the deck, and I am now condemned to confront the question that has plagued me for years: How does a person spend what he knows are his final months of life?”
Thomas’ Globe Magazine piece was one of the Globe’s most read pieces in 2021, according to the Globe obituary that appeared in the newspaper Tuesday.
His time at the Leader Herald was in 1961.
John Charles Thomas, always known as Jack, was born in Boston on Feb. 16, 1939, and grew up in Dorchester, the oldest of five siblings, Marquard wrote.
Thomas wrote last year that his mother, Marie Montgomery Thomas, “raised five children and mopped floors nights at Filene’s” to supplement the meager income of his machinist father, Walter Thomas,” he added.
Mr. Thomas first worked in the Globe newsroom as a copy boy in sports. But he left college before graduating to join the Marine Corps Reserve. Then he was a reporter at the Everett Leader Herald & News-Gazette and the Haverhill Journal before joining the Globe in 1962, Marquand wrote of Thomas.
Mr. Thomas was a “police reporter, State House reporter, city editor, editorial writer, Washington correspondent, national correspondent, television critic, feature writer, and ombudsman,” Thomas recalled last year.
“I knew Jack Thomas. We communicated with one an- other over the years but I never knew he worked for the Leader Herald, which we are so proud to report today,” said Joshua Resnek, publisher and editor of the Everett Leader Herald.
“Many journalists have worked for the Leader Herald since it was founded here in 1885…and Jack Thomas was among the most elite of that distinguished group,” Resnek added.