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Jonathan Newhall, 79

Jonathan Newhall, 79

Jon Newhall, a member of a California newspaper family, died Feb. 19, 2021, in Oakland following a pulmonary embolism, brother Tony Newhall reported. He was 79.

During the late 1960s, Jon was the editor of The Newhall Signal, a newspaper owned by his father, Scott Newhall, long-time editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, and by his mother, Ruth Newhall, a former Chronicle reporter who later became editor of The Signal herself.

During Jon’s tenure at The Signal, the paper’s liberal editorial stance made it a renegade in the conservative Newhall-Saugus community. Jon won an award from the Greater Los Angeles Press Club for his 1969 editorial criticizing the governor’s appointment for lieutenant governor. In a later editorial, he took the lead in a contentious school board recall.

In the 1970s, Jon returned to the Bay Area and turned his journalism skills and social conscience to founding and editing the San Francisco-based Zodiac News Service, filling its printed pages with anti-war, civil rights and counterculture news.

In retirement, Jon’s penchant for politics resurfaced and he took up writing political thrillers. Just weeks before his death, he completed his most recent novel, which his family hopes to publish soon.

Jon is survived by his wife, Bay Area journalist Barbara Falconer Newhall, and by his twin brother Tony Newhall, who was 1986 CNPA president.