Former Seattle Publisher Thompson Dies


(AP) Robert E. Thompson, former publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and national editor for Hearst Newspapers, has died. He was 82.

Thompson died Tuesday of prostate cancer at his home in Williamsburg, according to his daughter, Monica Gliva.

Thompson traveled extensively with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, accompanying the latter on a hasty, unannounced visit to U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1967. In 1962, he co-authored a book, Robert Kennedy: The Brother Within, with Hortense Myers.

Thompson was known for balancing aggressive political reporting with responsible news analysis that placed politicians’ careers in a broader, historical context.

Following four years in the Navy, Thompson first reported on Democrat Adlai Stevenson’s presidential campaign in 1956, which he covered for the International News Service. He left journalism to become Sen. John Kennedy’s campaign press secretary in 1958. He quickly returned, however, joining the Washington bureau of the New York Daily News in 1959, and later covering the White House for the Los Angeles Times.

Thompson rushed to Dallas after the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of Kennedy, and witnessed the shooting two days later of the chief suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Thompson became Washington bureau chief of Hearst Newspapers in 1966, then national editor two years later. He left Washington in 1974 to take the helm at the Post-Intelligencer, a Hearst newspaper, and returned in 1978 to Hearst’s Washington bureau chief post.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife and son.

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