Features

Star crossed

National | Famed astrologer Sydney Omarr dies at age 76

Issue: "30 years of destruction," Jan. 18, 2003

Sydney Omarr was America's swami of superstition. This astrologer to the stars wrote a horoscope column read by millions in daily newspapers. On the day he died from complications after a heart attack (Jan. 2), his prediction (written three months ahead) was cheerful: "You will beat the odds, much to the astonishment of experts."

Born Sidney Kimmelman in Philadelphia, he became interested in astrology as a teen and it quickly became a career. He also worked as a journalist, reporting for the old United Press and spending a decade as a CBS radio newsman.

Even though multiple sclerosis plagued his body for over 30 years, Mr. Omarr kept working until just last month. The Los Angeles Times described him during his last days as propped up in bed, dictating to an assistant who would transcribe his prognostications into an old IBM typewriter.

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Mr. Omarr found a mass audience for his pseudo-scientific predictions. His 13 books on horoscopes sold 50 million copies nationwide. He made TV talk show appearances with Mike Douglas, Johnny Carson, and Merv Griffin.

At the time of Mr. Omarr's death at age 76, over 200 daily newspapers carried his column. His horoscopes are expected to continue under his name, but produced by his assistants.

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