(AP) William Broom, who began a news career as a paper boy during the Depression, covered the Watergate years as a reporter and became president of the National Press Club, has died of Parkinson’s disease. He was 78.
He died in Baltimore, where he had moved to live near his son.
Broom was known as an advocate of investigative journalism. During the Watergate years, he worked as Washington bureau chief for what was then Ridder Newspapers. In 1972, he traveled with President Nixon to the Soviet Union.
Broom was sworn in as president of the National Press Club by President Gerald Ford in 1975 and served for a year.
He had been working as vice president for public affairs at The Philadelphia Inquirer when he retired in 1990.
Broom grew up in Effingham, Ill., and earned a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois. Through the 1950s, he worked for newspapers in Illinois, Texas, and California, and in public relations for the Southern Pacific Railroad. He became editor of the Press-Telegram newspaper in Long Beach, Calif., in 1965.
Survivors include his sons Scott Broom, a reporter for WMAR-TV in Baltimore, and Timothy Broom of San Clemente, Calif., and a brother, Richard Broom of Pagosa Springs, Colo.