To be honest, many newspaper stories, editorials and columns are routine. Get the report or news release, make a few phone calls, and write up a dozen or so coherent paragraphs. Home for dinner by 6.

Larry Oakes wrote hundreds of those everyday stories during his 30-year career as a reporter with the Duluth News Tribune and the Star Tribune, and he did them well.

But we should remember Oakes, who took his own life this weekend in the hills outside Duluth, for his ability to give voice to the vulnerable and marginalized. That's what drove Oakes, 52, and that will be his legacy in journalism.



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