4.23.2007

Journalist and author
David Halberstam dead at 73

Several news outlets, including The Associated Press, are reporting sad news from California tonight that journalist, author and Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam has been killed in a car crash. Halberstam celebrated his 73rd birthday two weeks ago.

Halberstam's career is storied, to say the least. A Harvard journalism grad, Halberstam first made his mark at The Tennessean in Nashville during the Civic Rights era. That work helped him land a job at The New York Times, where his big splash was covering the Vietnam War. He would win a 1964 Pulitzer for his coverage of the war.

But many folks also know Halberstam for his impressive repertoire of books, including "The Making of a Quagmire: America and Vietnam During the Kennedy Era"; "The Best and Brightest," another Kennedy-Vietnam book that is widely credited for helping sway popular opinion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable for the U.S.; "Playing for Keeps," a critically acclaimed book on basketball legend Michael Jordan; and "Summer of '49," a must-read for baseball fans on the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. His book "Firehouse" chronicled one of the engine companies in New York City in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. And at the time of his death Monday, he was reportedly working on his latest war effort, this one on the Korean War.

According to the AP, Halberstam had been in the San Francisco area to speak at UC-Berkeley on Saturday about "the craft of journalism." Halberstam was reportedly a passenger in a car that was hit by another vehicle in the Menlo Park area.

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