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Posted on October 31, 2011 | 4:21 p.m.

Edward Ivan Engberg, 1928-2011

The Santa Barbara writer dubbed himself 'an intellectual Swiss Army knife'

Source: Engberg Family

Edward Ivan Engberg, a freelance writer who once aptly described himself as “an intellectual Swiss Army knife,” died at his Santa Barbara home on Oct. 17, 2011.

Over a 60-year career, he wrote for numerous national publications and served as a consultant, speechwriter and adviser to corporate executives, politicians and government officials on topics of social and political importance.

The only child of Ivan and Carin Engberg, Engberg was born in Chicago, Ill., on March 5, 1928. After serving in the U.S. Army in the mid-1940s and receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, he worked at the Chicago Sun, where he met and married Catherine Lilek.

In 1953, the Engberg family moved to New York City, where Engberg wrote for both Time Inc. and Fortune magazine. He joined the staff at the Fund for the Republic to investigate blacklisting in the entertainment industry during the Joseph McCarthy era.

In 1967, he accepted an invitation to become a Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and moved his family from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Santa Barbara. In the years after his departure from the center, Engberg pursued a variety of publishing and freelance endeavors.

Engberg is survived by his wife, Catherine, and four children, Tony Engberg (Sallysue Stein) of Auburn, Karen Engberg (Doug Jackson) of Santa Barbara, Kristin James (Tim) of Reynoldston, Wales, and Elizabeth Engberg (Bob Lawrence) of Portland, Ore.

Engberg considered it his great good fortune to have 12 grandchildren — James and Chelsea Engberg; Vanessa, Madeleine, Galen and Francesca Jackson; Anna, Dylan and Juliet James; and Gabriel, Michaela and Eliza Lawrence.

Engberg’s ashes are interred at Calvary Cemetery. A memorial service is being planned for late November in Santa Barbara.


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