Al Aronowitz, a pioneer of rock journalism who introduced Bob Dylan to the Beatles, died yesterday at 77, his son said.
Mr. Aronowitz, who was born in Bordentown, N.J., grew up in Linden and Roselle, and lived his last years in Elizabeth, died of cancer at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, said his son, Joel Roi Aronowitz.
Mr. Aronowitz became a journalist after studying at Rutgers University in the mid-1950s. It was at the New York Post in 1959 that he wrote a 12-part series on the ''beat" movement, work that friends say helped sway journalism and his life.
In reporting the series, he became a friend of such early counterculture luminaries as poet Allen Ginsberg and novelist Jack Kerouac. ''He really fell into the whole lifestyle," said Gerry Nicosia, author of the Jack Kerouac biography ''Memory Babe."
Soon, Mr. Aronowitz was a music scene-ster. He claimed that Bob Dylan wrote ''Mr. Tambourine Man" in his kitchen. And there was the 1964 summit of the Beatles and Dylan, which came about as Mr. Aronowitz was covering the British band for the Saturday Evening Post. ''The Beatles' magic was in their sound. Bob's magic was in his words. After they met, the Beatles' words got grittier, and Bob invented folk-rock," Mr. Aronowitz once wrote.
Aside from some celebrity in the rock world, Mr. Aronowitz did not benefit financially from making the connection, his son said.
''My father was instrumental in a lot of people's success, introducing the right people in the right combinations," Joel Aronowitz said. ''He was never able to benefit from it financially himself. He always thought money would end up in his pocket, too, but it never did."
Mr. Aronowitz's life unraveled in 1972, the year his wife, Ann, died of cancer and he was fired from his job writing the ''Pop Scene" column at the Post.
In his last years, Mr. Aronowitz self-published two books, ''Bob Dylan and the Beatles" and ''Bobby Darin Was a Friend of Mine," and was working on another, ''Mick and Miles," about Mick Jagger and Miles Davis, when he died.