Paul Burnham Finney of Bull Path Close in East Hampton, a longtime managing editor of Businessweek and executive editor of Fortune magazine, died of complications of Parkinson’s disease on May 18 at Southampton Hospital. Mr. Finney, who had had Parkinson’s for three years, was 83.
At Businessweek, Mr. Finney served as the London correspondent and assistant managing editor before being appointed, at 35, managing editor. He was at the time the youngest person to have held the position. He wrote two books, “The Businessman’s Guide to Europe,” published in 1965, and “The American Express Business Traveler’s Guide,” from 1988.
Mr. Finney served on the Council on Foreign Relations and was a member of the Harvard Club. From 1968 to 1982, he was a frequent invitee to the annual Bilderberg conference, designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. In 1981, he served as the conference’s honorary secretary general for the United States.
Mr. Finney’s travel writing, business acumen, and knowledge of world affairs earned him columns in The New York Times and Travel and Leisure. He was a frequent contributor to Condé Nast Traveler, Frequent Flyer, The Robb Report, and Porthole.
Mr. Finney was born on Oct. 28, 1929, in New York City to Burnham Finney and the former Eleanor Axline. Early in life, he lived in Detroit and Scarsdale, N.Y., but ultimately settled in New York, dividing his time between there and East Hampton.
He earned a scholarship to study at the Juilliard School in Manhattan, where he played the trombone, and Harvard University, where he led the marching band while majoring in journalism. He graduated cum laude from Harvard, then served as a lieutenant in the ordinance division of the Army during the Korean War.
Mr. Finney’s first marriage, to Joanne Lyman, ended in divorce. He and Linda Finney, who survives him, were married on April 10, 1978.
He is also survived by a son, Durham W. Finney of New York, two children from his first marriage, Christopher L.B. Finney of Celebration, Fla., and Suzanne P.W. Finney of Hyannis Port, Mass., and three grandchildren. He also leaves a sister, Maryel Locke of Boston.
There was no funeral service for Mr. Finney. His family has suggested donations in his name to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, an annual fund-raiser held in New York City for research into Parkinson’s disease, at unitywalk.org.