Hentoff's son, Nick, reports he died today, "surrounded by family, listening to Billie Holiday."
Hentoff, born on Howland Street, wrote about his early years growing up Jewish in a city then full of antisemites - and learning to love jazz - in Boston Boy.
He.started as a journalist at the old Boston City Record, where he investigated antisemitic hate groups. He later moved to WMEX, where he did sports announcing, even as he devoted more and more time to jazz, becoming a well known jazz critic.
He later moved to New York, and become a columnist at the Village Voice, where he specialized in free-speech and other civil-liberties issues.