J.D. Alexander, Veteran of ‘Seattle P-I’ and Watergate, Dies at 66

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By: E&P Staff

J.D. Alexander, former publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, died Tuesday at a hospital near his Saratoga Springs, N.Y., home. He was 66.

Alexander died from pulmonary hypertension, a rare condition.

Alexander was managing editor at the San Diego Union when he joined the P-I as executive editor in 1986. He was named publisher in 1993. He most recently was a consultant for Hearst.

“He was a tough and demanding leader who cared about community, cared about readers and felt that journalists owed those readers their very best efforts day in and day out,” Ken Bunting, executive editor of the Post-Intelligencer, said in a P-I article Wednesday. Alexander served as publisher until 2000.

Born in North Carolina, he began his newspaper career at the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal and moved to The Washington Post in 1967. He was an assistant national editor when the Watergate scandal broke.

“J.D. was one of those unusual presences in our newsroom that always made The Washington Post an enjoyable place to work,” Leonard Downie Jr., the Post’s executive editor, told the P-I. “He was full of good humor, great ideas, and looked at the world differently than any of the rest of us. He saw irony and humor often before the rest of us did and was quick to express it.”

Alexander’s reputation for his quick wit was sealed by his most famous one-liner at the P-I: “Morale is overrated.”

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