SANTA MONICA—The former publisher and editor in chief for The Hollywood Reporter, Robert J. Dowling, passed away on Friday, December 30, at his home in Santa Monica. He died at age 83 after a short battle with cancer. 

Dowling was born on Long Island, New York on September 16, 1939, and went on to study at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. Early in his career, he became editor and publisher of several publications including American Druggist, High-Tech Marketing, Menswear and Sports Marketing News.

He worked with The Hollywood Reporter from 1988 to his retirement in 2005. During that time, Dowling was involved in the growth of the publication.

Under his leadership, The Hollywood Reporter moved to the internet in 1995 and launched digital The Hollywood Reporter East for readers on the East Coast which was a daily Oscar Screening Guide; a production database to track the progress of films and TV shows.

Dowling helped to carry on the publication’s popular editorial Trade Winds which was first established by Billy Wilkerson, The Hollywood Reporter’s founder. 

His memoir, “My Life…And Then Some” was published in 2019. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Juanita, and sons Michael, Matthew and Jobe.