By: E&P Staff
Terry DeVine, the former managing editor of The Forum in Fargo, N.D, died Thursday at the age of 62 after a period of declining health as the result of a battle with terminal acute leukemia.
A former Marine who served in Vietnam, DeVine broke into journalism with the Associated Press in 1970 while still in college at South Dakota State. In his time at AP, he covered many of the memorable events of the Black Hills region in the 1970s. In 1972, DeVine covered flooding in Rapid City, South Dakota that killed 238 people.
Later, DeVine found himself caught up in the story of the armed American Indian Movement (AIM). In 1973, he rushed to the historic village of Wounded Knee after it had been taken over by armed militants, who held the site for 71 days. Two years later, DeVine returned to the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to cover the killing of two federal agents. Leonard Peltier, an AIM leader, was later convicted of the murders.
After spending some time as a deputy bureau chief for AP in Minneapolis, DeVine decided to follow his boss, bureau chief Joe Dill, to the Forum in 1981. DeVine started as a news editor, while Dill, who died in 1998, was the paper’s editor. “When Terry and Joe Dill came to work here they were a real team, both hard-working,” said William C. Marcill, publisher of the Forum and chairman of Forum Communications Co. in a statement.
DeVine became managing editor soon after he arrived at the Forum and he guided the paper through even more gripping events, including the killing of two U.S. Marshals near Medina, North Dakota in 1983, as well as flooding in the Red River Valley in 1997.
In addition to his editorial duties, DeVine was a popular columnist, until he retired in March due to his declining health. His most popular subjects were veteran’s affairs, political pork-barrel spending and the downside of political correctness.
News of DeVine’s passing drew tributes from people across North Dakota, including Democratic Senator Kent Conrad. “Throughout his 27 years as managing editor, and later as a columnist, he maintained an integrity and dedication to journalism that was self-evident, spread every morning across the pages of The Forum for all to see,” Conrad told the Forum. “Justly, the conclusion of his tenure has been seen in Fargo as the end of an era.”
“I think his legacy to North Dakota and journalism everywhere is he demanded and got excellent work from good people, most of whom he?d hired,” said Jack Zaleski, the Forum’s opinion page editor, told the paper. “That?s a legacy any editor can be proud of.”