Will Lester, a longtime reporter and editor for The Associated Press who played a critical role in the news organization’s 2000 election-night decision not to call the presidential race, died Wednesday, Feb. 7. He was 71.
According to his family, Lester died unexpectedly at his home in Maryland.
Fellow AP employees held Lester’s good nature in equal measure of esteem with his dedication to covering the news. Executive Editor Julie Pace, who previously served as Washington bureau chief, said Lester “represented the best of AP,” calling him “a dedicated editor who cared deeply about his craft,” as well as “an incredibly kind person who treated everyone with respect and decency.”