Longtime Bangor Journalist Kalil Ayoob Dies at 94

By: E&P Staff

Bangor (Maine) Daily News editor and writing coach Kalil “Ki” Ayoob died June 19 in Philadelphia. He was 94.

Ayoob spent 53 years in the newspaper business in Bangor, retiring in 1990. He joined the Daily Commercial in 1937, starting as a reporter and becoming an editor who insisted on the correct use of the English language.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Ayoob joined the Bangor Daily News, where his positions included city editor and copy desk chief.

Columnist and former assistant managing editor Kent Ward described Ayoob as “a beacon of calmness in the midst of an often hectic newsroom.” He told staff writer Nok-Noi Ricker that as a longtime city editor, “Ki was the epitome of the solid old-time newsman plying his trade in those halcyon days before the computer replaced typewriter and glue pot, dramatically changing the newspaper business forever.”

Ayoob’s newspaper career started the year most-wanted fugitive Al Brady and his gang showed up in Bangor. Ayoob covered the shoot-out with the FBI and police that put the gang out of business, then ran back to the Daily Commercial to put out a special section on the event. In 1980, Ward recalled, Ayoob was among the few editors to actually shout, “stop the presses,” when the military mission to rescue American hostages held in Iran failed.

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