Alvin Moscow, Shipwreck Chronicler and Prolific Collaborator, Dies at 98

Alvin Moscow, who wrote a best-selling account of the sinking of the ocean liner Andrea Doria in 1956, then collaborated on the memoirs of several public figures, including Richard M. Nixon soon after he lost the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy, died on Feb. 6 in North Las Vegas, Nev. He was 98.

His death, in a hospital, was confirmed by his daughter Nina Moscow.

Mr. Moscow was a reporter for The Associated Press when he covered the court hearings focused on determining the cause of the violent collision between the Andrea Doria, which was en route from Genoa, Italy, to New York, and the European-bound Stockholm, in dense fog about 45 miles south of Nantucket Island in Massachusetts on the evening of July 25, 1956.

In all, 51 people died. But in a remarkable civil maritime rescue operation, more than 1,600 passengers and crew members survived.

In “Collision Course: The Andrea Doria and the Stockholm” (1959), Mr. Moscow described the moment of impact between the ships:

“With the force of a battering ram of more than one million tons, the Stockholm prow plunged into the speeding Italian ship, crumbling like a thin sheet of tin, until her energy was spent. With the Stockholm pinioned in her, the Andrea Doria, twice her size, pivoted sharply under the impact, dragging the Stockholm along as the giant propellers of the Italian liner churned the black sea violently to white.”

“Collision Course,” Mr. Moscow’s account of the sinking of the ocean liner Andrea Doria, was a New York Times best seller for 15 weeks.Credit…Putnam

Walter Lord, who had described the sinking of the Titanic in his book “A Night to Remember” (1955), praised Mr. Moscow’s “magnificent analysis of the accident and sinking” in a review of “Collision Course” in The New York Times.

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