Sonia Adler, founding editor of Washington Dossier, dies at 90

By Louie Estrada,

Patrick McMullan Patrick McMullan Archives/Getty Images

Sonia Adler and her husband, Warren, in 2010.

Sonia Adler, a social circuit fixture who served as founding editor of the now-defunct society magazine the Washington Dossier, died May 10 at a hospice center in Boca Raton, Fla. She was 90.

The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said her son David Adler.

Mrs. Adler was the wife of Warren Adler, who owned a public relations and advertising agency and became a best-selling novelist known for “The War of the Roses” (1981), a dark comedy about divorce. He started the Washington Dossier in 1975 with his son and it became a family operation — with his wife as editor and another son, Jonathan, as advertising director.

Mrs. Adler oversaw coverage of White House state dinners, embassy receptions and cocktail parties, deploying nightly a small team of photographers to capture the well-heeled attendees socializing over drinks and small talk. The publication flourished in an era of lavish entertaining and grew from 16 pages in its earliest editions to 300 pages at its peak in the 1980s.

She received 50 party invitations a week and attended many of the events that the magazine covered. “She lived and breathed that magazine,” David Adler said. “She was very driven, very charming, witty. She was a great connector of people from diverse backgrounds.”

Sonia Kline was born in Manhattan on March 5, 1931. Her father ran a haberdashery in Harlem, and her mother was a homemaker. She graduated from New York University in 1951, and married Warren Adler the following year.

They settled in Washington, where Mrs. Adler worked as a fashion model and freelance photographer. After 12 years of running the Washington Dossier, the Adlers sold the magazine in 1986 to businessman Ronald Haan. It closed four years later, in 1991, as did many other publications hit hard by declining advertising revenue amid a recession.

Mrs. Adler left the Washington area in 1988, first for Los Angeles, then Jackson Hole, Wyo., and later New York. After her husband’s death in 2019, she moved to Florida.

In addition to her sons, David, of Washington, and Jonathan, of North Miami Beach, Fla., survivors include another son, Michael Adler of Calabasas, Calif.; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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Source: WP