Robert F. MacDonald, Boston Herald and Boston Globe Editor and Writer, Created ‘Beer Facts,’ Dies at 79

Robert F. MacDonald.

Robert F. MacDonald, 79, of Haverhill, passed away unexpectedly May 13, at Lawrence General Hospital. He was the husband of Deborah (Mann) MacDonald.

Born in Brockton on July 16, 1943, he was the son of the late Robert E. and Marion (Bryant) MacDonald.

Following his graduation from New Hampton School he continued his education at Northeastern University, graduating with a degree in journalism and receiving a master’s in journalism at the University of Missouri. MacDonald pursued a career in journalism at the Boston Herald, Record American and concluded a successful and fulfilling 35-year career as copy editor of the Arts Department at the Boston Globe. While at the Globe, he originated the feature column “Beer Facts.”

He was an accomplished cook and specialized in baking various breads. His outdoors interests included fly fishing and skiing. He and his wife enjoyed traveling and visited England five times.

His passion for music was centered around the saxophone, and he extended that interest as a member of the Rapt Rascals five-piece band. It was at that time, while playing in Haverhill, he had the occasion to meet his future wife. He served as a member of the U.S. Army National Guard.

Besides his wife of 30 years, he is survived by his daughter, Lauren MacDonald, and her fiancée Jason Divins of Georgetown; twins, Jane Cote and her husband Thomas, and their children Aaron and Alex of Salem, MA, John MacDonald and his wife Tracy and their children Morgan and Paige of Overland Park, Kan. He was the brother of the late Judy MacDonald.

Arrangements are under the direction of Dole, Childs & Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main St., Haverhill, will be private. Donations in MacDonald’s name may be made to the National MS Society, 465 Waverly Oaks Road Suite 202, Waltham, MA 02452. Messages of condolence may be sent to

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