Walter R. Mears, Pulitzer-winning journalist who appeared in the classic book about campaigning reporters, has died at 87 –

Walter R. Mears, Pulitzer-winning journalist who appeared in the classic book about campaigning reporters, has died at 87 –

It was cancer, his daughters Susan Myars and Stephanie Stitch said.

Mr. Myers has spent much of his career in the PA, publishing his articles in thousands of newspapers, making him one of the nation’s most widely read political journalists, even the most famous. He covered all presidential elections from 1960 to 2000, evaluated candidates and formulated topical issues with authority and sprinter reflexes.

“Fortunately, this is intense, high-pressure news and writing is my special talent,” wrote Mr. Myers in his 2003 memoir, Deadlines Past. “Under the right conditions, I could have made the story as fast as possible.

“Guys on the Bus” Cruz described Mr. Myers as “a sharp green eyed young man smoking a cigar,” “who has a hard time keeping up with fast-paced stories and coming up with the facts every time.”

By 1972 he was already considered a fast typist and political seer. Not knowing how to deal with the news, other reporters approached him and asked him: “Walter, Walter, who is our guest?” they said.

Mr. Myers had the ability to find a new wrinkle or a new regional point of view that kept his political relations from uttering a word spoken dozens of times. As soon as the candidate started speaking, he started writing.

“The whole room was filled with noisy typewriters,” Cruz wrote, “but Myers stood out as a resident dervish.” The cigar slowed and rolled. He was hot, but he didn’t have time to wear a blue coat. For the first three minutes, he nudged the phone and called the AP Office in Los Angeles.

Almost the only people in the country who did not follow Mr. Myers’ work regularly were residents of large cities whose newspapers were large enough to send their reporters on trips.

His most difficult task came in 1968, he told NBC reporter Tim Russer in 2003. President Lyndon b. Johnson decided not to win re-election due to Senator Eugene McCarthy’s (D-Minn.) Populist campaign and late lawn. By Senator Robert F. Kennedy (DNY). On the Republican side, former Vice President Richard Nixon sought political rehabilitation.

That year, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in April, two months after the Kennedy assassination, shortly after winning the California primary. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, who did not participate in any of the primary, was nominated for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, plagued by protests and unrest.

“Hubert H. Humphrey, a forerunner of Joy’s politics,” wrote Myers, who won the Democratic nomination for Democratic Party chairman under gun protection tonight.

In 1972, “Boys on the Bus” was announced by Myers, Humphrey, Senator Edmund S. Musk (Maine) and Senator George McGovern prior to the appointment of Alabama discrimination governor George Wallace. (SD). McGovern lost to Nixon, who later left the presidency due to the Watergate scandal.

After Nixon’s campaign, Mr. Myers later wrote in his memoirs: “I have never met so many people who were subsequently imprisoned.”

Writing with incredible speed, Mr. Myers has produced, through a kind of literary alchemy, copies of passages touched by not only factual but sometimes poetic grace notes. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for following the race between Republican Gerald Ford and Democrat Jimmy Carter, and the result was summed up in one sentence: “Finally, the incredible Democrat has defeated the Republican elect.”

When he started writing his presidential policy in 1960, Mr. Mears said it was easy to reach politicians and even invited reporters for a drink. This blasphemous and countless insult was printed on the “boys on the bus,” but there was still widespread respect for the president’s position among journalists and the public alike.

“When I had Goldwater, Bobby Kennedy and Nixon,” Myers told USA Today in 2000, “when they campaigned, you could still see parents holding their kids to see the next president of the United States.”

But the pervasive presence of cable television, political advisers and microphones “gave value to everything,” making candidates more reserved and voters more cynical.

“Knowledge has been devalued in favor of thought,” said Mr. Myers, “and the line between the two is blurred.”

Walter Robert Myers was born on January 11, 1935 in Massa, Linn, where his father was the CEO of a chemical company and his mother was a housewife.

“Journalism was my only passion, from my first acquaintance, people worked for a living,” said Mr. Myers in an interview with contemporary authors in 1983. “When other guys were talking about firefighters or artillery, I I was talking about reportage “.

He started working at AP while still a student at Middlebury College in Vermont. He graduated in 1956 and was elected to the Fi Beta Capa Honorary Society.

He lived in New England until he became a Washington-based political journalist in 1961. The following year he married his first wife, the former Sally Danton, and their two young children, Walter Jr. and Pamela died in a family fire. The house on Mount Vernon. Mr. Mears was injured while trying to save them.

He then quit his job, worked 18 hours a day, and eventually became the best political writer in the PA. He briefly headed the Washington office of Detroit News, but to return to television a few months later, he said, “I couldn’t catch up. It was very slow.”

Five years later, as editor-in-chief of the AP in New York, Myers returned to Washington in 1989 as a political commentator. He withdrew after the 2000 presidential election, when the Supreme Court effectively ruled that Republican George W. Bush had defeated Democrat Al Gore.

Throughout his career, Mr. Myers enjoyed making concessions to defeated candidates: sectarian speeches. One of his favorite things about him was in 1976, when Arizona Congressman Maurice Udall lost several Democratic primaries: “People were talking, you idiots.”

Mr. Myers’ marriage to Joyce Lund and Carol Ann Rambo ended in divorce. His fourth wife, journalist Fran Richardson, died in 2019. Survivors include two daughters from his second marriage, Susan Myers of Boulder, Colony and Stephanie Stitch of Austin; Brother; And five grandchildren.

In 1983, Myers published a book called The News Business, which he co-wrote with NBC News co-host John Chancellor. He moved to Chapel Hill in 2005 and taught journalism at the Universities of North Carolina and Duke University.

In an interview with NBC’s Russert about his career in 2003, Mr. Myars admitted that he lost the campaign excitement trying to communicate the deadline.

“I’m waiting for someone to call me and tell me to get on the bus,” he said. “I’ll be away in a minute.”

An earlier version of this story misrepresented 1968 Democratic presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey as a United States senator. He was vice president at the time.

Source: Washington Post