In Memoriam

Art Kunkin, 91

Art Kunkin, founder and editor of the old Los Angeles Free Press, died April 30, 2019, in Joshua Tree, The Desert Sun in Palm Springs reports. He was 91. Kunkin, who edited the first and largest underground newspaper of its kind, from 1964 through 1972, is credited with helping to mobilize the counterculture. Several former…

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Bob Aguilar, 74

Robert Aguilar, a former advertising executive at several California newspapers, died May 1, 2019, in Lumberton, Texas, the San Angelo Standard-Times reports. He was 74. Aguilar was advertising director at the Record Searchlight in Redding from 2000 to 2004 before becoming publisher in San Angelo. Previously, he had been advertising director for The Salinas Californian…

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Bob Marshall, 84

Bob Marshall, a former county editor and later assistant managing editor at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside, died March 28, 2019, the newspaper reports. He was 84. “He was very smart, kind of a bookworm personality, very dedicated to news gathering and ethics,” said his wife, Sally Ann Maas, also a former P-E editor. “Everyone who…

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Joseph Knowland, 88

Joseph Knowland, former editor and publisher of The Oakland Tribune, died March 14, 2019, The Mercury News reports. He was 88. The California Press Association named Joseph Knowland its Newspaper Executive of the Year in 1975. Knowland, a UC Berkeley alum, began as a cub reporter at The Tribune and later trained in every department.…

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Phil Jaffe, 85

Phillip B. Jaffe, a former publisher of Brehm Communications Inc.’s Mountain News in Lake Arrowhead, died Feb. 19, 2019, his family reported. He was 85. Jaffe, whose printing and publishing career spanned more than 40 years, was publisher in Lake Arrowhead from 1983 to 1998. Earlier, he had owned a printing company and was a…

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Rusty Harris, 64

William Russell Harris, a former managing editor at the old Blade-Citizen and North County Times, died Feb. 21, 2019, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. He was 64 and had cancer. Harris’ 35-year news career included stints at newspapers in Kansas and Texas. He joined the Blade-Tribune in Oceanside as Business editor in 1987 and later…

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Steve Lawrence, 71

Steve Lawrence, who had been the longest-tenured member of California’s capital press corps when he retired in 2009 after 37 years with the Associated Press, died Feb. 22, 2019, the AP reports. He was 71 and had cancer. “People liked him, the elected officials and staffers, but he was a true wire service reporter —…

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Rex Wilson, 70

Rex Wilson, a former managing editor at the Times-Standard in Eureka, died Feb. 6, 2019, the newspaper reported. He was 70. Wilson was managing editor at The Times-Standard from 1989 to 1997. He previously had worked at the old El Monte Herald, Whittier Daily News and Orange County Register. Wilson later was managing editor of…

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Charles Cooper, 76

Charles Cooper, a former editor at the San Francisco Examiner, the old Hayward Daily Review and several other U.S. newspapers, died Jan. 19, 2019, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. He was 76 and died from complications after heart surgery. “He was a really important part of San Francisco journalism,” said longtime friend Peter Bhatia, now…

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Claudia Smith-Hill, 97

Claudia Smith-Hill, former editor of the weekly Willits News in Mendocino County, died Dec. 19, 2018, the newspaper reported. She was 97. Claudia started at the newspaper as a clerk and social editor. Later, she and husband Richard Hill, along with four other families, acquired the newspaper in 1973 and ran it for 24 years.…

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