By: E&P Staff
Alan Nicholas Foltz, Tulsa World reporter and editor for more than 30 years, died June 18. He was 78.
At age 16, according to the World, “Nick” Foltz knew the career he wanted, and it was his grandmother who got him a copyboy’s job with The Associated Press. Foltz was following in the footsteps of his uncle Zachary Taylor, distant relative of the U.S. president and the AP’s chief feature writer in New York.
World staff writer Tim Stanley quotes Foltz’s wife, Grace, saying, “I remember him in high school wondering why he had to take all these other courses when he already knew what he was going to do.”
After earning his journalism degree from Oklahoma City University, Foltz reported for The Daily Oklahoman and the Oklahoma City Times, followed by a stint in the Air Force as a public information officer during the Korean War.
In 1960, he joined the Tulsa World, where he rose to assistant city editor and, in 1978, to state editor, coordinating three state reporters, a Washington Bureau reporter and two state capital correspondents, as well as part-time correspondents. He eventually switched to reporting on higher education until his 1993 retirement.
But 25 years earlier, recalled Foltz’s then-news editor Gene Curtis, on a June day when the home edition had just started its run, Foltz saw the bulletin that Senator Robert Kennedy had been shot following his presidential primary election victory in California. He called Curtis at home, then called for the crew to stop the press. Page One was remade, said Curtis, and “nearly all of our Final Home Edition readers got the story about the shooting.”