Robert E. Huber, Columnist and Famed Hostage, Dies at Age 76

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By: E&P Staff Robert E. Huber, a newspaper humor columnist and famed hostage, died Friday at the age of 76, The Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune reported today.

Since 1994, Huber had written a weekly column for the Portales (N.M.) News-Tribune and the Clovis (N.M.) News Journal.

"Bob" Huber, as he was known, worked for United Press International during the 1960s. He covered such high profile stories as the Gemini and Apollo space missions, and the famous courthouse raid by land grant activist Reies Lopez Tijerina.

It was on June 5, 1967 that Tijerina and his followers attempted an unsuccessful citizens arrest of the district attorney in Tierra Amarilla, N.M. During the attempt, a State Police officer and a jailer were both shot and wounded, and a deputy was beaten.

Tijerina's group took the sheriff and Huber, who was present at the courthouse, hostage. Huber was forced by gunpoint to drive Tijerina and the captive sheriff away from the scene of the crime. Huber and the sheriff were later able to escape, and Tijerina was put in jail for approximately three years.

Huber was born in 1931. At age 17, he served in the Coast Guard in the years between World War II and the Korean War. After attending the University of Colorado, Huber worked at the Roswell (N.M.) Daily Record, the Denver Post, and UPI.

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