Tom Wicker, who enjoyed a four-decade association with The New York Times, died Friday of an apparent heart attack. He was 85.
Wicker, who joined The New York Times in 1960 as a political correspondent in the Washington bureau, had a career turn three years later as a result of a tragic moment.
He was the only Times reporter to accompany President Kennedy on his fateful trip to Dallas November 22, 1963.
Gay Talese who penned the major history of The New York Times, described Wicker’s coverage: “It was a remarkable achievement in reporting and writing, in collecting facts out of confusion, in restructuring the most deranged day in his life, the despair and bitterness and disbelief, and then getting on a telephone to New York and dictating the story in a voice that only rarely cracked with emotion.”
The Associated Press reports Wicker was in the first press bus after the Kennedy motorcade when the assassination occurred. In his memoir years later, Wicker recounted the day.
“The shots ringing out in Dealey Plaza marked the beginning of the end of innocence.”