NEW YORK -- Stanley Kauffmann, the erudite critic, author and editor who reviewed movies for The New Republic for more than 50 years, wrote his own plays and fiction, and helped discover the classic novels "Fahrenheit 451" and "The Moviegoer," died Wednesday. He was 97.
Kauffmann died of pneumonia at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan, said Adam Plunkett, assistant literary editor at The New Republic.
Kauffmann started at The New Republic in 1958 and remained there -- except for a brief interlude -- for the rest of his life, becoming one of the oldest working critics in history. He wrote during a dynamic era that featured the rise of the French New Wave and the emergence of such American directors as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.
"I think it is the end of an era, and the passing of an extraordinary writer who had seen silent films as a boy and kept up with the most advanced pictures of the 21st century," David Thomson, a fellow film critic at The New Republic, wrote in an email to The Associated Press. "He was a superb critic and a very kind and generous man."
Roger Ebert once called him "the most valuable film critic in America." He received an Emmy in 1964 for his commentary on WNET-TV and a Polk Award for film criticism in 1982. His theater reviews brought him a George Jean Nathan Award in 1974.
Theater was his first love. He graduated from New York University's College of Fine Arts in 1935 and was an actor and stage manager with the Washington Square Players. In 1966, he became the theater critic for The New York Times.
Kauffmann married Laura Cohen in 1943. They had no children.