Los Angeles Times Columnist Al Martinez Dies at 85

By: Valerie J. Nelson | Los Angeles Times

“It’s the people I’ve written about who march through my memory like an army of shadows,” Al Martinez wrote in 2009 in his final column for the Los Angeles Times. “They all mattered to me, the clowns and the victims, those who gave and those who took….”

Over three decades, Martinez chronicled life in Southern California as a columnist who had “an extraordinary ability to take something very personal and spin it out beautifully to make you laugh or weep,” said Sue Hodson, curator of the 2012 Huntington Library exhibit “Al Martinez: Bard of L.A.”

Martinez died Jan. 12 of congestive heart failure, said his wife, Joanne. He was 85 and had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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