Harman died Tuesday night in Washington, D.C., of complications from leukemia, according to a statement from his family on the website of the Daily Beast, which Harman merged with Newsweek. He was married to former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman of Venice.
The path of Harman's long career took him from the electronics industry to government, academia and, finally, the Fourth Estate. His passion for the arts and philanthropic impulses led him to provide funding for Washington, D.C.'s Sidney Harman Hall, a popular performance space. An indefatigable reader and thinker who was fascinated by creative geniuses, Harman also at age 92 founded the Academy for Polymathic Studies at USC. From heart, he could recite long passages from Shakespeare, or Abraham Lincoln or Maxwell Anderson, and would often embroider a thought or regale dinner-party guests with an apt quote.
In November 2010, when Harman was being hammered by critics skeptical of his deal to merge Newsweek with Barry Diller's Daily Beast website, he offered, in an interview, a quote from Lincoln's speech before Congress in 1862: "The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation."