May 22, 2024

Judy Feder, My Friend, Dies at 53

Along the avenue of beautiful women Judy Feder, who died yesterday at 53, never failed to attract notice. It wasn’t just her slender waist and long lashes, her red hair and porcelain skin, her knowing smile and flashing eyes. That all helped, of course. Those drawn into Judy’s field of gravity became aware of another dimension to her loveliness — her spirit, which moved at its own pace and was adorned with words like this: …

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Daryl Gates’ Command Ends in California

Among the accumulated roles I play is to report and write what the New York Times calls “advances,” short for advance obituaries of prominent people. The Times has a list of completed advances that numbers around 1,400, roughly 30 of which I’ve completed. It likely sounds ghoulish to most people, but writing about well-known players on the national stage is often an efficient way to understand a place or an era or both. Today Daryl …

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Stewart Udall, An American Statesman Passes

I met Stewart Udall, and his wife Lee, in 1988 when I was a national correspondent for the New York Times and he was in the midst of seeking compensation for American victims of the nuclear weapons industry. It was the start of a friendship of 22 years that ended today with Stewart’s death. Stewart, who was 68 at the time, and Lee were getting ready to move into a beautiful adobe-style house they were …

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Death of a Great Reporter

My friend John Wilke, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, and one of the smartest no-nonsense journalists I ever had the good fortune to know, died today. A man who chose the news as the center of his professional life did an awful good job of keeping his own illness from being the news. I only learned of his trials with cancer a little more than a week ago. But for those of us …

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