Robert Lee Sherrod, 86, former editor of the Saturday Evening Post and a World War II correspondent who went on to write books about the military and aerospace, died of emphysema Feb. 13 1994, at his home in Washington. He had lived in Washington off and on for about 60 years.
He was editor of the Saturday Evening Post, once one of America's most widely read publications, in the early 1960s. He wrote for Life magazine after leaving Curtis Publishing Co. in 1966.
Mr. Sherrod was a native of Thomasville, Ga., and a graduate of the University of Georgia. Early in his career, he was a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution, the Palm Beach Daily News and other newspapers. In 1929, he joined the staff of Time magazine.
As a correspondent during World War II, he chronicled the island-hopping of the U.S. Marine Corps across the Central Pacific in a series of bloody amphibious invasions. He went ashore with the first wave of Marines to land on Tarawa Atoll in 1943 and stayed until the last Japanese defender was killed or captured. He also reported from Saipan and Iwo Jima.
Mr. Sherrod worked for Time and Life until 1952, when he went to Tokyo to become Far Eastern correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post. He was named managing editor two years later and became editor in chief in 1962.
Books he wrote or helped to write included five on the military -- among them "Tarawa: The Story of a Battle," "On to Westward: The Battles of Saipan and Iwo Jima" and "History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II" -- and the aerospace work "Apollo Expeditions to the Moon." He also wrote book reviews for The Washington Post and the New York Times's other publications.
Mr. Sherrod received honors from the Headliners Club, the University of Illinois and the Overseas Press Club.
He was a member of the history advisory committee of the Marine Corps, the president's advisory council of the University of Georgia, the Federal City Club, the National Press Club and the Overseas Press Club.
His first wife, Elizabeth Hudson Sherrod, died in 1958. His marriage to Margaret Carson Sherrod ended in divorce, and his third wife, Mary Gay Labrot Leonhardt Sherrod, died in 1972.
Survivors include two sons from his first marriage, John H. Sherrod of Sewickley, Pa., and Robert L. Sherrod Jr. of Maysville, Ga.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.