Richard Ramirez of 'Mercury News' Found Dead in Home

By: E&P Staff Richard Ramirez, the well-known San Jose Mercury News editor/reporter, was found dead Wednesday at his home in Livermore. He was 44.

Police are investigating, but did not release any other information.

"Rich's death is a tragedy that has stunned all of us," said Carole Leigh Hutton, Mercury News executive editor, said in an article in the paper. "He had a gentility about him that made him very easy to work with, but his professionalism and commitment to this newspaper and its community were always clear."

Part of the newspaper's account continues below.

Ramirez, 44, came to the Mercury News in 1984 as an intern and went on to hold several positions, including reporter, assistant state editor and his most recent role as assistant to the executive editor.

Ramirez had been active in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and served as chairman of the local planning committee that helped host the group's annual convention in San Jose last week.
"I just saw him on Sunday and I said, `goodbye,' and thanked him for being such a great leader. I'm just speechless," said Veronica Villafa?e, former president of the NAHJ and co-chair of this year's convention.

News of his death left many of his colleagues reeling, including former Mercury News Executive Editor Susan Goldberg, with whom he worked for eight years.

"Rich was the nicest, most helpful, most dedicated Mercury News employee that we could ever hope to have. I'm just crushed to hear this," said Goldberg, now executive editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Ramirez was a 1984 graduate of the University of Southern California's School of Journalism, where he became the top editor of the Daily Trojan. Even after he graduated, however, he continued to help emerging journalists make contacts and find jobs in the business.

Ramirez is survived by his wife, Janet Dalke.


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