LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) – Michael Parks, the former top Los Angeles Times editor who spent 25 years as a foreign correspondent and won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, has died . He was 78 years old.
Parks died of kidney failure and a heart attack late Saturday at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California, after falling suddenly ill at home, his son Christopher Parks told the Los Angeles Times.,
Park was the foreign correspondent for the Times and the Baltimore Sun and covered some of the most important events of the 20th century, including the Vietnam War and the fall of the Soviet Union.
After nearly three years as the top editor at the Times, he taught at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism for 20 years and served two terms as director of its journalism school.
“His remarkable life and career is a testament to journalism, not just a job, but a calling. Willow Bay, dean of USC Annenberg, said in a statement, Michael shares his profound knowledge and experience with all of us. shared, and we will always be better because of it.
Parks won the 1987 Pulitzer for International Reporting. The prize jury commended him for his “balanced and comprehensive coverage of South Africa”.
“Michael was an exceptionally talented foreign correspondent, one of the finest of his generation,” said Scott Craft, who succeeded Parks as the Times’ Johannesburg bureau chief and is now the newspaper’s managing editor.
From 1980 to 1995, Parks was the Times bureau chief in Beijing, Johannesburg, Moscow and Jerusalem. After stints as deputy foreign editor and managing editor, he was named editor of the newspaper in 1997.
Parks’ tenure ended dramatically after an uproar in the newsroom over a profit-sharing arrangement, with the October 1999 issue of Times Magazine hitting out at the Times with the Staples Center on revenue from advertisements for the opening of the downtown area. was dedicated.
The Times’ writers and editors were furious when they learned that the newspaper’s top executives had stalled the advertising deal, saying it undermines the integrity and independence of their journalism by giving the magazine’s subject a share of its profits. does.
Although Parks stated that he did not know about profit-sharing until the magazine was written and edited, he learned about it in time to prevent it from being published, which he did not. He later expressed “deep regret”, saying he had underestimated the impact on the credibility of the Times.
Born in Detroit in 1943, Parks grew up there and worked as a reporter for the Detroit News, earning a bachelor’s degree in classical languages and English literature at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.
The Times said that Parkes’ family consists of his wife, Linda Parks; His son Christopher Park of Bloomington, Ind. and Matthew Park of Cape Town, South Africa; two sisters; Two brothers; and four grandchildren. His daughter Danielle Parks died in 2007.