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Edwin O. Guthman, 89

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From Elaine Woo‘s obit today:

Edwin O. Guthman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and editor whose aggressive pursuit of Watergate stories during the 1970s earned him the enmity of President Nixon and the No. 3 spot on Nixon’s infamous enemies list, has died. He was 89.

(Snip)

Guthman, who was also a longtime USC professor and a founding member of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, earned a Pulitzer early in his career for proving the innocence of a victim of McCarthyism. During a brief hiatus from journalism, he worked for Robert F. Kennedy as a Justice Department spokesman and became a Kennedy confidant.

He went on to serve as national editor of the Los Angeles Times from 1965 to 1977, a crucial period during which the newspaper expanded its journalistic mission and shed its parochial image. David Halberstam, in “The Powers That Be,” wrote that Guthman gave the paper “instant prestige” and played an important role in its transformation under Publisher Otis Chandler.

A decorated World War II veteran, Guthman was profiled in the bestselling 1998 book “The Greatest Generation,” by former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who wrote: “In any accounting of the good guys of American journalism, Ed Guthman is on the front page.”

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