Nicholas Karas of Riverhead died Aug. 11 in Center Moriches. He was 81 years old.
He was born Dec. 13, 1931, in Binghamton, N.Y., to Stephen and Anna (Nider) Karas. He served in the Navy’s amphibious forces from 1951 to 1954, during the Korean conflict. He attended St. Lawrence and Johns Hopkins universities, where he majored in biological sciences, and Syracuse University, where he earned a master’s degree in journalism.
Mr. Karas became the outdoors editor for True magazine, then Argosy magazine. Later, he became a full-time freelance writer, traveling the world for nearly a decade and producing more than 500 magazine features. For 25 years, he was the outdoors columnist for Newsday, writing over 3,500 columns, followed by 10 years as a freelance columnist for The New York Times and several major magazines.
He wrote his first novel, “Hunky,” after being inspired by James Michener to “write what he knew best.” His novel “The Last Whaler” reflected his love for the sea. He held his captain’s license for 30 years and was an ichthyologist who regularly fished the offshore waters of Long Island.
Mr. Karas is survived by his wife, Shirley; his sons, Kenneth, of Belize, Steven, of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., and Michael, of Manhattan; his sister, Anne Teisi of Nebraska; and five grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Reginald H. Tuthill Funeral Home in Riverhead. Burial with Navy honors took place at Calverton National Cemetery.