The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Halberstam died today in an automobile accident in California at age 73. Halberstam’s gifts as a writer and reporter were recognized early, beginning with his editorship of the Harvard Crimson. As a young reporter Halberstam proceeded to cover the great stories of our time, from the civil rights movement in Nashville, where he worked for the Tennessean, to Vietnam, where he worked for the New York Times. Halberstam’s first book came out of his Vietnam experience (The Making of a Quagmire), as well the book that made him a national celbrity (The Best and the Brightest). In Triumph Forsaken, historian Mark Moyar has raised serious issues about the nature of Halberstam’s coverage of the war for the Times.
Halberstam was in any event an indefatigable journalist of enormous ambition. Once he achieved great success with The Best and the Brightest, he pursued his interests in the media, sports, foreign policy and history in numerous books. Having met him in 1975, I would add that he was also a gentleman. And talent must have run deep in Halberstam’s family. His brother Michael was not only a physician but also, as of the year before his murder in 1980, a novelist (The Wanting of Levine, a novel that was almost as funny as Halberstam’s books were serious). RIP.
Via Hugh Hewitt.
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