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In Memoriam

She’s Backkk! Jill Abramson Remembers Arthur Gelb for The Huffington Post

abramsonA week after being fired as executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson has resurfaced, penning a piece in remembrance of former NYTimes managing editor Arthur Gelb for The Huffington Post.

“His eyes danced when he told stories about dreaming up the multi-sectioned New York Times,” Abramson remembers of Gelb in the piece. “His daring creativity helped save the newspaper at an earlier secular choke point that was every bit as life-threatening as the transition from print to digital happening now.”

Read the piece in its entirety here.

Remembering Bob Kemper

in-memoriamOn Monday we told you that longtime Washington political journalist Bob Kemper succumbed to an apparent heart attack over the weekend. He was 53.

Visitation will be held today from 5 – 8pm at Saint Bartholomew Church at 6900 River Road in Bethesda. A mass will be celebrated Thursday at 10am followed by internment in Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Bob Kemper Memorial Fund, set up to help support the education of Bob and Mary’s three children, Ryan, Jack and Grace. Checks can be made payable to the Bob Kemper Memorial Fund and mailed to:

The Bob Kemper Memorial Fund
6100 Welborn Dr.
Bethesda, Md., 20816

Longtime Washington Political Journo Bob Kemper Passed Away Saturday

in-memoriamOn the night of the annual White House Correspondents’ dinner, longtime Washington political journalist Bob Kemper succumbed to an apparent heart attack. He was 53.

Kemper served as an assistant managing editor for the Washington Examiner, and prior to that, reported on Washington and the White House for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Chicago Tribune.

According to a piece remembering the journalist on, “He was one of the few journalists allowed to spend much of Sept. 12, 2001, with President George W. Bush, and he later authored a book on the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Rubble: How the 9/11 Families Rebuilt Their Lives and Inspired America.”

Read the full piece in memory of Kemper here.

We’ll include information on any arrangements when they become available in this post.


CQ Roll Call Mourns Loss of Arnie Thomas

Rebecca Gale pens an obit for former senior vice president at CQ Roll Call, Arnie Thomas. Thomas was also a former director of LEGI-SLATE at The Washington Post, president of the A Thomas Group, and a mentor to many. He died of a heart attack on April 12.

From the obituary:

But Thomas was most effusive about mentoring others. “I often encourage my clients to mentor others,” he wrote in Everyday Mentor. “Mentoring not only helps the mentee to grow personally and professionally but it also creates an opportunity for the mentor to gain fulfillment through the development of others, personal rejuvenation, a larger support community and an opportunity of greater self-awareness. Plus, frankly it just feels good!”

“I worked with him for 23 years,” said Lisa McAvoy, a product development manager at CQ Roll Call.” I saw him through so many professional and personal highs and lows. He never lost his integrity or his zest for living. He took people for where they were and moved them forward. It was a remarkable gift. He was the youngest 66 I ever met.”

Drastic Changes at CQ Roll Call Ahead of CQ Now Launch

Just over a month after David Ellis signed on as VP of News at CQ Roll Call, the former editor at large at Bloomberg’s Washington bureau announced his first newsroom changes.

In a confidential memo (Subject Line: A confidential FYI from David Ellis) sent to staff this morning and forwarded to FishbowlDC, Ellis announced changes in advance of the late-April launch of CQ Now, described as a “daily gateway to the latest intelligence about the inner workings of Capitol Hill.”

Read more after the jump.

Read more

Longtime TWT, Washington Star Sports Reporter Dies

Dick Heller, a native Washingtonian who wrote about District sports for more than 5 decades has died. Heller wrote for The Washington Times as well as the Washington Star and the Alexandria Gazette. He was also pivotal in a key Appeals court case regarding freedom of speech. From the WaPo obit:

In 1977, when the University of Maryland had one of the top men’s basketball teams in the country, The Washington Post published a story highlighting the players’ dismal academic records. Mr. Heller, then a columnist at the Star, went a step further, publishing the names of four players, with their photographs prominently displayed.. .Six members of the team sued Mr. Heller and the Star… for invasion of privacy, publishing confidential university records and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The players asked for $72 million in damages.

Read more

NatGeo Responds to Death of Jamie Coots

As has been widely reported, the snake-handling Pentecostal pastor and reality TV star from Kentucky Jamie Coots died on Saturday after being bitten by a poisonous snake. Coots and fellow pastor Andrew Hamblin were both featured on NatGeo’s “Snake Salvation,” which followed their lives and aimed to educate people about their religion. The DC-based cable channel issued the following statement today on Coots’ death:

On the passing of Pastor Jamie Coots:

National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced. Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith.  We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship.  Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

Coots died at home after being bitten by a snake at his church. Paramedics were on the scene to assist him there, but his family refused their help. They believe, based on their reading of the Book of Mark, that God protects the faithful from the venom of snakes. Hamblin was also with Coots when he was bitten. No charges will be filed in the case.

WaPo Reporter George Wilson, Part of Pentagon Papers Case, Dies at 86

Intrepid war reporter George C. Wilson, who reported on the ground in Vietnam and in Iraq, and immersed himself in workings of the military, has died from leukemia. He was at the Post from 1966 to 1990, during which he spent two tours in Vietnam, and played a pivotal role in the Pentagon Papers case. From the WaPo obituary:

After the papers were obtained by the New York Times and The Post, the Nixon administration tried to prevent the newspapers from publishing them, arguing that the revelations would damage national security. The government attempt to stop the publication of the secret papers was known as “prior restraint” and prompted questions about freedom of the press, guaranteed by the First Amendment.

In his memoir, Bradlee recounted a day in court in which the government extracted, from deep within the huge file of documents, a particular passage. If that passage were to be made public, the government told the judge, national security would be harmed.

Then, Bradlee wrote, “the remarkable George Wilson stunned everyone by pulling out of his back pocket a verbatim record” of the same information, which had already appeared in a public transcript of Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings.

It was a turning point in the case and demonstrated Mr. Wilson’s encyclopedic knowledge of the most minute details of the war. 

Wilson later wrote for National Journal as an embedded reporter during the Iraq War and was the author of several books.

Richard Maloy, Thompson and WaPo Veteran, Dies at 89

Yesterday we reported on the passing of longtime WaPo printer Fred McHone. Today we learn of another veteran WaPo journalist who has died. Richard Maloy, who served as Washington bureau chief of Thomson newspapers after working for years at the Post, died Dec. 1. From the obituary:

Mr. Maloy came to Washington in 1952, when he was hired as a local news reporter at The Post. He covered state and national politics and, early in his tenure, secured a one-on-one interview with President Harry S. Truman.

He reported on the civil rights movement in the early 1960s and became the paper’s London bureau chief in 1965. He later served as a city and state editor.

Mr. Maloy became an associate editor at National Journal in 1970, then opened a Washington bureau for the Thomson newspaper group in 1974. He was Thomson’s Washington bureau chief until his retirement in the 1990s.

May we all be so lucky to have such a long career. RIP Richard.

Fred McHone, Veteran WaPo Printer Dies at 86

Fred McHone, who worked for almost three decades as a printer at The Washington Post, died Nov. 14 at Inova Fairfax Hospital, we learned yesterday. In a time where young people seem to run this town, and jumping to a new employer every two years is the norm, men like McHone are a rarity: an old bull who stayed put for 27 years. From the WaPo obituary:

Mr. McHone settled in the Washington area in 1962, when he joined The Post. Among his duties in the newspaper’s printing department, he laid out the comics, stock tables, classified advertising and television guide. He retired in 1989.

Fred Eugene McHone was born in Bluefield, W.Va., where he attended vocational school and apprenticed as a printer.

After serving in the Army in Alaska in the early 1950s, he returned to Bluefield, where he worked as printer for the Daily Telegraph until 1962.

RIP Fred, and thanks for your years of service to the business of journalism.