Monday, June 30, 2008

In Loving Memory of My Dad, Ken Reich

Dad and Abby

Dad and David at David's welcome home party

Dad with his grandchildren at the Palm Springs aerial tramway, March 1, 2008



I am deeply saddened to write that my father, Ken Reich, died early this morning at his home in Los Angeles. His passing was peaceful. His last hours were spent as he would have wished them--chatting with friends and family and posting to this blog. He sent his last email, to lifelong friends in India, at around 2 a.m., and then he went to sleep. His caregiver was unable to wake him this morning.

This was a terrible shock, although those of you who know my Dad know that he had been in failing health for several years.

When I get my thoughts together, I will write more about Dad--about what an amazing father he was, about what a committed and tenacious journalist he was, and about how, despite his many quirks, he endeared himself to literally hundreds of friends and family, from all over the world. Right now, it's all too raw for me. But I encourage people to leave their own thoughts and reminiscences on this blog. Dad would have loved that, and my brother David and I will take great comfort in reading your notes.

Dad's funeral will be on Thursday, July 3 at 2 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Hollywood Hills, 5950 Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles. All are welcome.


Kathy Reich

80 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a true journalist! I always appreciated his work at The Times......I just spent the past few days reading his comments on those writers who departed the paper.
It was a fitting epitaph to all the great work he's done, and how it pained him and everyone else about the destruction of this fine paper.
I'm not sure which is worse, the 1910 labor bombing, or the Zellots who have taken over this paper.
Rest in Peace.....a true professional!

Jeff Prescott, La Jolla

6/30/2008 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Jack McGrath said...

I remember you and your brother as little kids. I was the campaign manager for a City Attorney candidate and your Dad was very tough on me. I deserved it. He attended a press conference and screamed out to the candidate-" Did you fire McGrath" After this episode in 1981, Ken Reich and I would meet from time to time and have a drink at the Sportsman's Lodge restaurant, a place where he had covered many press conferences. He was fun and very outspoken- but very fair in his reporting.

He wore expensive looking banker suits, but always a little crumbled. He many times was the first person asking a question at a press conference, and always a good follow up. One of the best reporters I ever knew, and one who I also feared to deal with- no pulling any stuff over him. He lead a full and exciting life.I am sure he was a terrific father.

6/30/2008 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Julie Mazur said...

I first met your dad through my dad, Morrie Mazur, of the Times Metro copy desk. We were part of the Dodger ticket group. When I started at the Times and bought into the tickets myself, I sometimes sat with him at the games. Ken, who was never at a loss for words, was always entertaining. I followed his opinions on this blog and will miss his "voice." I am sorry for your family's loss.
Julie Mazur, Rockville, Maryland

6/30/2008 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rest in Peace, Ken. It was a pleasure working with you during your final years at The Times -- an experience I won't soon forgot. Thank you for your friendship and quick wit.
-Shelby (LAT)

6/30/2008 2:31 PM  
Blogger Kanani said...

A writer up until the very end, loved by family and friends, admired by many of us who could only marvel at his acumen and experience. He was a lucky man.

6/30/2008 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kathy, you and your family are justifiably proud. ken was a fine journalist, a true bulldog, which is a compliment. And he was quick to compliment other reporters. Not only was he as smart as could be, he was fearless. may be rest in peace. he deserves it. daryl kelley

6/30/2008 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kathy, you and your family are justifiably proud. ken was a fine journalist, a true bulldog, which is a compliment. And he was quick to compliment other reporters. Not only was he as smart as could be, he was fearless. may be rest in peace. he deserves it. daryl kelley

6/30/2008 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So sorry and surprised to read this news, Kathy. Ken and I were email friends since he launched his blog, and I always enjoyed dropping in on him to see what was on his mind. It was a good mind, and he was a good man.
I loved him giving hell to the Tribune crowd.
My condolences to you and your family.
David Crook
Wall Street Journal
(LAT 1981-1993)

6/30/2008 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a journalist, Ken lived the craft's principles of fairness, passion and thoroughness. He showed generosity toward colleagues, especially up-and-coming greenhorns as I was when we first met. Above all, his curiosity for people and things, great and small, and his caring for profession and country, never wavered even in his final hours. God has surely granted Ken eternal peace for his many labors.

David Smollar
San Diego

6/30/2008 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only spoke with Ken Reich once, a few weeks ago, about a research project I was doing on Los Angeles Times. He was incredibly helpful and just this morning I opened my e-mail to find a message from him alerting me to recent events at the paper I might be interested in. I am stunned to find out that it must have been one of the last things he did and I am truly sorry to hear of his passing. May he rest in peace.

6/30/2008 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am shocked and saddened to hear of Ken's death. My wife and I met him at the University of Judaism lecture series a few years ago and occasionally gave him a ride home (because he was an expert at bumming rides). I started reading his blog and became a fan. His writing was skillful; he conveyed his anger at the Times so effectively that I could feel my stomach tighten when I read his pieces. I will miss his work, but not as much as you will miss your father and grandfather. Best wishes to the Reich family.

6/30/2008 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, now that's going down fighting.

Ken was a tough reporter. Committed, funny, stubborn, sometimes ornery, above all, the real thing. He loved newspapers and good journalism. He is part of the wonderful history of the Los Angeles Times.

My condolences to his family and fellow journalists.

Best, Marjorie Miller

6/30/2008 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy,

I am so sorry for your loss. I was a greenhorn writer at the Times in your dad's last years there, and he often stopped by my cubicle to chat. I always enjoyed his visits. He may have been a bulldog as a reporter, but he was always a teddy bear with me. He was very, very proud of you and your brother and was always eager to share your accomplishments. When you are missing your dad, just look at your older child's face--a dead ringer for Ken, expression and all.

6/30/2008 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, condolences to you, David and the rest of the family.
I have known Ken since we were both night wire reporters in Sacramento, him for the UPI, me for the AP.

He was a dedicated, talented reporter who represented the best of the business, no matter what he was covering. And for someone so aggressive on a story, he had an amazing talent for making and keeping friends, as you noted Kathy. His devotion to his children was wonderful to observe
In his retirement, Ken was a consistent critic of the Time's losing strategy. He covered that story as he did all others, without letting up, as we saw in his last comments, posted after midnight the morning of his death. No mercy for Zell.

Bill Boyarsky

6/30/2008 4:42 PM  
Blogger Ed Padgett said...

Dear Kathy,

From the men and women in the pressroom that produce the Los Angeles Times our heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and your family. Your father will be missed deeply by all of us he touched through his expressions on his blog and personal meetings.

6/30/2008 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Harvey Rosenfield said...

In all my years of working with the news media, there never was a reporter like Ken Reich.

I first met Ken when I was a campaign staffer fighting an insurance industry tort reform initiative on the ballot in 1986. He came to do a story on the opposition. I had some papers on my desk which Ken was able to read upside down and then use to scoop the competition with some midly embarrassing info in his piece the next day. Ever since then I have kept my desk clean when reporters visit.

A few years later, I wrote a ballot measure to regulate insurance rates in California. To defeat it, the insurance industry sponsored three competing ballot measures, and spent a record $80 million. Confusion among the voters abounded. Ken covered the campaign relentlessly; he was able to bring the arcane details of insurance to life, and was just as comfortable and savvy when it came to covering the politics of the battle. The public (not to mention many other reporters) relied on Ken to explain what was at stake and who was behind the different initiatives.

I have always believed that if it weren't for Ken's journalism, Proposition 103 would never have passed.

6/30/2008 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Patt Morrison said...

To Kathy and the family -- my condolences.

To those who didn't know Ken -- he was a force of nature in the newsroom, impassioned, stubborn, resourceful. Woe betide the public official who tried to use ''no'' with Ken! He was completely absorbed in his subjects -- often ending up knowing more about them than the experts -- and in his interviews. In one newsroom layout, where the headsets had long ''tethers,'' he was pacing alongside his desk and got so caught up in his conversation that he walked right out of his headset -- and kept walking for another ten paces or so before he realized that there was no conversation from the other end and his headset lay on the ground behind him! A true original. RIP, Ken.

6/30/2008 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Shawn Hubler and Bob Magnuson said...

We worked with Ken collectively for nearly three decades -- Bob as his editor and Shawn as his fellow reporter. We will always remember Ken as a joyous and free spirit, a demanding intellect and a reporter extraordinaire, his hallmark salutation echoing through the newsroom as he paced with his headset -- waaay pre-Bluetooth: "My good man, don't you know who I am and who I represent?!" But what stands out most in our memory was his pride as the father of Kathy and David, and the many of their achievements he would share more readily than any of his reporting triumphs -- the countries they visited, the pilgrimages to the Shakespeare festival in Oregon, their academic laurels and professional milestones. No father ever loved a child more dearly than Ken loved his children, and we were proud to call him our friend.

-- Shawn Hubler and Bob Magnuson

6/30/2008 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Robert Lee Hotz said...

Dear Kathy,

Please accept my condolences. I sat next to Ken for much of my 14 years in the newsroom of The Los Angeles Times. He was a great friend, a valued colleague and a fierce warrior in the cause of journalism. Few loved the LA Times so deeply, gave so much of themselves to it, or demanded with such conviction that it live up to its own highest standards, to be the paper that California and the nation deserve.

6/30/2008 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy and family:

My condolences to you all. And to the entire City of Los Angeles. We won't see the likes of Ken again anytime soon, with his passion, intellect and never-give-up tenacity.

Ken cared more about stories than bylines or being on page one or even what his assignment was. He just loved to report, no matter what! And he loved his family most of all. I am so glad he had a few years in retirement to spend time with those he loved most and to travel. But as we all know, he may have retired from the Times but he most certainly did not retire from reporting (witness this blog.)

I hope that Ken is always part of the LA Times' DNA.

--Susan Denley, Los Angeles Times

6/30/2008 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For many years, I was privileged to occupy an office just a short distance from Ken's cluttered desk. His zest for the news was infectious; his lust for life palpable. I admired his passion and outrage at the many ways big shots tried to fleece the small fry. He would often drop by to let me know what I'd got wrong at the Book Review and, sometimes, what I'd got right. We found common ground in trying to figure out how to resist the barbarians banging at the gate. He was a reporter of the old school and his death arrives too soon, too soon. He will be missed.
-- Steve Wasserman

6/30/2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only knew Ken in his last few years at Times. They were not the happiest times for him, but he was always passionate, incredibly well informed and a good friend. You knew after talking to him for a couple minutes that he was the genuine article--a classic newsman who would point a powerful jounalist pen at all those who abuse power. If anything, he became a better essayist on his blog. And he will be sorely missed.

6/30/2008 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Frank Sotomayor said...

Ken saw himself as a watchdog for the public. When L.A. won the bid to host the 1984 Summer Olympics, Ken went after the story like a bulldog. Aware of the financial debacle of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Ken pursued his own style of aggressive reporting that ensured that L.A. taxpayers would not foot the bill for the Games.
Ken was tough on news sources and sometimes tough on his editors too. But it was a pleasure, as one of Ken's editors at the time, to work with someone so committed to quality, public service journalism.
To Kathy and David: my condolences to you. You should feel good in knowing that your Dad made an important difference in this city, nation and world. And, as you know, he loved you and was so very proud of you.

6/30/2008 6:48 PM  
Blogger davidcay said...

Ken Reich, who was my deskmate at the LATimes for a year or so, was a great reporter, a valued friend and loyal servant to readers everywhere.

Ken was one of the superb reporters brought into the paper by the great Ed Guthman and at every task from Atlanta bureau chief to rewrite, Ken did superb work for the benefit of readers.

Ken had the foresight to see that the 1984 Olympics would not just change Southern California, but the economics of these global events. He thoughtfully, thoroughly and interestingly pursued the games and the power structure behind them for years before the torch was lighted. I have no interest in sports and yet devoured his every word, as I am sure many others did as well.

Ken also taught me about how to handle money and do well.

In his last few years on staff Ken turned to consumer reporting, doing superb work writing honestly about the auto dealers in SoCal, correcting a great and continuing weakness in LATimes coverage, like that of most newspapers.

When my coverage of the LAPD and other issues made me toxic to the spineless among the editors, Ken always stood by me and encouraged me. And at a crucial moment when an editor made stuff up, Ken made a record of the truth.

My favorite memory is about when we sat in two of the four gunmetal gray desks in the row farthest from the pre-1980 LAT Metro desk, in that ancient room with its red rubber tile floor in the days of typewriters and stories written on layers of multi-colored paper.


Each morning Ken would arrive and regale me with his latest joke, which was usually pretty good. Then he would instantly get to work. On our last day as deskmates, after he finished his yarn, I put my hands on his shoulders and said he had to, just once, listen to my joke.

I wish that Ken could make me laugh just one more time.

David Cay Johnston

6/30/2008 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken and I disagreed on politics,but he was a loyal friend to this writer and he went that extra mile to help during family emergencies that took me from New York to Los Angeles on a moment's notice. Whenever we met,he always spoke about his children. He was incredibly proud of both of you. And you now have his loving memory to cherish always.

Mary Reinholz
New York









Take care. Mary Reinholz

6/30/2008 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Tim McGarry said...

As a Times reader, I especially appreciated Ken's earthquake and seismology coverage. He unwound the complexities and made things clear and interesting, all the while avoiding the speculative and sensational. His calm and informative coverage in the months following the Northridge quake in 1994 was a tremendous service to all of us who lived in the quake zone.

I got to know Ken a little in his consumer column days, in my role as a spokesman for a bank that drew his critical scrutiny more than once. He was certainly tough, but he was also fair, always willing to give the reader a look at both sides.

His "tough guy" image notwithstanding, he was always perfectly cordial after our interview finished, happy to engage in small talk or to reminisce. I always enjoyed hearing his thoughts on political figures he knew and newspeople he had worked with. He was a great storyteller.

He had a real passion for good journalism, as the contents of this blog demonstrate. I'll miss him.

6/30/2008 7:18 PM  
Blogger Ruben Macareno said...

I left the Times via the buyout last year. When I first started at the Times many years ago Ken Reich was hard to miss. I recall overhearing one of his memorable loud telephone interviews for the first time as I walked by his desk. I thought two things. "I am sure glad I am not on that side of that telephone call." Then my second thought was, "Thank God he is on our side, the people's side." Thank you Ken from all of those who benefited from your work.

Ruben Macareno

6/30/2008 7:55 PM  
Blogger LYT said...

I never met Ken in person, but we spoke over the phone a time or two...he was a great help to me in my brief attempt to become a "news guy." He and I probably would have disagreed on a lot of things, but I came away with a good deal of respect for him. He sounded quite lively, too -- really sorry to hear the news.

6/30/2008 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Ken in 2000, my first year at the paper as a METPRO trainee right out of college. I sat near his desk sometimes, and I remember him becoming so lathered up at some IT guy over some computer issue, he yelled and huffed and cursed, before slamming down the phone receiver. He scared the hell out of me, so I kept my distance. In the years after he retired, Ken regularly sent me emails with commentary and praise about various articles, even though I had barely spoken to him during the short time we had worked together in the newsroom. It amazed me how deeply he cared about the Los Angeles Times, and especially about its journalism. He sent his last email to me Friday morning, at 2:25 a.m. Apparently, he was busy reading all of the issues of the LA Times that he had missed while traveling through Africa, and he came across a piece from April about a father who lost his son in the Iraq war. Ken’s email is a tender reminder that there was something else he believed in and cared about even more passionately than journalism: His children. I know they must be as proud of their father as he was of them.
It makes me sad to know Ken won’t be reading us anymore.

--Erika Hayasaki

From: Ken Reich [mailto:kennethireich@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 2:25 AM
To: Hayasaki, Erika
Subject: Seth Dvorin

Dear Erika,

I was on a 73-day cruise around Africa and just now, reading back issues, saw your article about the Dvorins' loss April 26. It was very sad, and, as usual, you did a great job.

But I come at this from a different perspective (and also a happier result). Two days after 9-11, my son, David, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UC Berkeley and an assistant manager of one of the Dutton book stores in L.A., decided to go into the Navy. He was accepted for Officer's Candidate School and commissioned in 2002 at Pensacola, Fla. after 12 weeks of rigorous training. Then, he spent six months at the Navy-Marine intelligence school at Dam Neck, Va. and then two years at the Office of Naval Intelligence in Suitland, Md.

David was then assigned as the intelligence officer for Team Five of the SEALS, home based in Coronado, California. All in all, he did two tours of duty in Iraq, on the second tour, in Fallouja and Ramadi, commanding a 47-man intelligence unit that worked with Special Forces (Green Berets and Army Rangers in addition to SEALS) and was one of the groups that worked successfully to bring Sunni sheikhs tired of Al-Qaeda over to our side. This was part of the Surge. David voluntarily extended his duty for a fifth year so he could go back to Iraq.

David came home proud as a Navy lieutenant that the tide in Anbar province had been turned, and even prouder of the fact that his unit suffered no casualties. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his "unrelenting perseverance" and "steadfast devotion to duty...in the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service."

David is out of the Navy now, and will enter UCLA's Anderson Management School for MBA studies in September. UCLA has given him a $30,000 fellowship. In the meantime, he has been on a lengthy trip to South America and has been studying Spanish at the Belgrano University in Buenos Aires. A close friend observed to me that David had come home from the war convinced that he could accomplish anything he set his mind to.

David's medal is the fourth Bronze Star won in my family. One grandfather, a U.S. Navy Admiral, won one off Okinawa in a clash with Kamakazi planes in 1945. The other grandfather, a sergeant in Gen. Patton's Third Army, won two, one in North Africa, and the other one at the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

David is pleased that, like his grandfathers in World War II, he was able to fight the suicide bombers and latest edition of fascists in Iraq. His uniforms are in the closet now here at home, but he is in the Ready Reserve and still could be called back in an emergency.

Best, Ken

6/30/2008 8:53 PM  
Blogger davidcay said...

A second thought on Ken's work, after reviewing many of his posts.....

Reading Ken's recollections on Supervisor Debs, the Calderons and other matters reminds me of how timid newspapers have become, of how seldom today we read the kind of tough stories Ken recalled and the institutional memory needed to connect the many dots.

In one of his Take-Back-The-Times posts Ken described telling that crook Alan Robbins to his face that he was a crook. These days would today drive editors crazy with fear and get a reporter chewed out and perhaps fired.

Readers drift away when the newspaper fails to aggressively pursue the facts and do for them what they cannot, which is to police the political system. Sharply focused words and solid reporting about the hidden, the obfuscated and the corrupt are in short supply.

Ken was never into explaining away conduct when it just needed to be exposed.

David Cay Johnston

6/30/2008 9:20 PM  
Blogger InkStainedRetch said...

Kathy:

Your dad was a true journalistic hero. I deeply admire his committment and his final acts of journalism: celebrating his colleagues, speaking truth to power. He will be missed.

6/30/2008 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Thad Dunning said...

Dear Kathy and David,
I was so very sorry to hear this shocking news this afternoon. Thank you for reaching my Dad on the phone, Kathy. A friend at the Times pointed me to the remembrances posted here, and I am moved to see many of them recall the qualities I also remember in your Dad. Several posts recall his intellectual tenacity and journalistic integrity. When I think of your Dad, I think first of his fierce loyalty -- to his friends, to his Dartmouth classmates, and more than anything else in life to you two, whom he so deeply cherished. Your Dad was a true friend to my father and he will be very greatly missed.
Love and best wishes to you both,
Thad

6/30/2008 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy --

The newsroom didn't need another dose of bad news today. Thanks to Ken for standing up for the Times and for the people of LA until the very end. His roll call of last week was especially sweet.

Ken was an objective reporter, honest to a fault. My favorite Ken moment was when he was trying his best to get a businessman's response to charges leveled against him in a legal action. The guy was using his secretary to dodge Ken and duck his questions.

"Madam, you can tell your boss this is the most important phone call he'll ever get," Ken bellowed. Courteously and courtly, of course.

The newsroom cheered.

Thanks, Ken.

-- Bob Pool

6/30/2008 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Shelly Sloan said...

At one point in my life, it seemed like Ken Reich had an inside source in my home. I had been President of the County Commission on Music & Performing Arts and it seemed he was there writing stories about what we did before we did them. Always right on, unfortunately, mostly always critical.

Later, on the Colisem Commission, he was our most severe critic and at the same time, a supporter.

But, Ken was always honest to a painful degree. He would listen to your side of the story and report it faithfully. He would hold in confidence that which he agreed to keep off the record. I trusted Ken.

But in an argument, he was a stubborn bulldog, who could not be budged. Occassionally, he'd concede that he might be a little off, but never would concede totally.

I mourn his passing, and my heart goes out to his children. He was so proud of you. He kept me totally apprised of his son's progress through OCS, N.I. School, and his career in Washington.

He was a patriotic something; conservative, liberal, I don't really know. Maybe just a real Libertarian.

I always loved that he reported a remark by the Richards Barger who represented Nixon's lawyer Frank DeMarco, Jr. who falsely notarized the gift of papers to creat a tax credit for Nixon. The DeMarco was asked by Ken if he had heard from his client (Nixon)lately, and the Barger quipped "...that would be like getting a get well card from a hooker who gave you the clap."

Ken wrote it and the Times printed it. Only Ken could have done it so artfully and convinced his editor to print it verbatim.

Shalom, Ken. Give 'em Hell wherever you land.

7/01/2008 2:05 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Kathy,
I only know your father from reading his blogs, especially those written from his Africa cruise.
I am so happy that he had the opportunity to take that cruise and reach his goal of visiting so many other countries.
You and your family are blessed to have been the recipients of his wise counsel.
Sara

7/01/2008 5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to accept that Ken Reich is gone.He was such a vital and commanding presence even in ill health.I never understood his passion for the Los Angeles Times (to me just a corporate entity), his love of Southern California and his hatred of the Clintons and Chicago's "bad food." He was a Flag Waving Patriot who voted for George W. Bush and at first I thought that was pretty quaint. Then he would rave about India and later Barach Obama. Hard to label this man.We argued a lot but I admired his industry as a reporter and his devotion to his family. He was a man of substance in a society that doesn't seem to value that. He will be greatly missed. Hedda

7/01/2008 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Richard Andrews said...

It was with great sadness that I read of Ken's passing. But, as you noted Kathy, it was a wonderful obituary that captured many features of a consummate journalist.

I had many "opportunities" to be on the receiving end of Ken's interviews during the period I served as Director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services during the Wilson administration. Initially, I approached each session with great apprehension, for one never could anticipate where Ken might start his inquiries. Often it was with some blunt assertion, outrageous accusation or, on one memorable occasion, his infuriation at the parking fee that he was charged.

But over the course of over a dozen such exchanges I came to look forward to each interview, knowing that Ken liked nothing more than a spirited response, a challenging questioning of his own premises, or even laughing at his line of inquiry.

In the many articles that Ken wrote on the Northridge earthquake, the research efforts of the region's scientists and seismic safety in California he was always informed, fair and dedicated to educating the resident's of this region regarding the risk that we all share.

Ken and I became friends and, as a public official, earning his respect remains one of my most cherished recollections.

More recently, my mornings always included reading his blog. His comments on the presidential campaign -- as in all his writing -- were thoughtful and blunt and occasionally outrageous. I often referred friends and colleagues to his blog for a good read that would entertain and, almost certainly, often infuriate them.

Ken's passion about the need to preserve the legacy of the Los Angeles Times, and print journalism in general, as well as his insightful comparisons of how various papers covered significant issues, were especially laudable.

His voice will be greatly missed.

7/01/2008 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Robin Mayper said...

Kathy,

Ken was a force of nature and a tough customer. More importantly he was a kind and gracious gentleman. I was tickled meeting you at his retirement party, he was busting with pride at you and his grandkid. I seem to remember discussing your husband teaching him to blog, good work, he was fun to read.

He was legend...

Robin Mayper
Editorial Library

7/01/2008 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Sandy Banks said...

In the 25 years I spent working with your dad, he became a symbol of many things for me. He was my role model as a parent; his love and pride -- obsession, even -- for you two taught me that passion for parenting and career could coexist, even feed one another. His determination to do his job right and well set a standard for me as a reporter. And when I was his editor on the city desk, I grew to love his spirit, intellect, drive and (yes) tenderness. He was a teddy bear under all that bluster -- kind, conscious and unapologetically genuine. A light went off in the newsroom when he left. I feel blessed to have considered him a mentor and a friend.

7/01/2008 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Barbra Caliendo said...

Kathy-
I worked with your father at the Times, and am sorry to hear of his passing. How fortunate that he was home from the cruise, happy about reaching 100 countries. I hope you know how incredibly proud he was of you and David -- his family was what he truly loved, along with traveling and the Times. You are so lucky to have a great father.
You and your family are in my thoughts.
Barbra Caliendo
LAT '97-'03

7/01/2008 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a friend of Ken's son, David, who I met in High School. I remember hanging out at their house on weekends with our group of friends. Mr. Reich, as I knew him, helped me get my first summer job - as an Editorial Assistant at the Times. A job I loved, even though all I did was sort mail and ran errands for everyone in the news room. He also wrote a great recommendation letter for my application to Dartmouth. He was kind and generous and more knowledgeable than any other Dad I knew. I admire what he stood for and took the time and courage to spoke out for until the very last day.

David and Kathy - I am so sorry for your loss.

Sincerely, Dana

7/01/2008 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear this. Ken was kind to me and always willing to share his knowledge with me the few times we got to talk. He even had nice things to say after I wrote an earthquake story--which is high praise coming from Ken.

He sure had a lot of guts,

Sincerely

Hector Becerra

7/01/2008 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Susan Steade said...

Whenever I talked to Mr. Reich, he made me feel better -- in fact, fired up! -- about still being in the newspaper business. I'd think, here's this guy, he has so much more reason to be world-weary and fatalistic, and instead he's still passionate, still engaged, still making a difference. Kathy, our condolences to you and your family. I'm sorry for us all that he is gone.

7/01/2008 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Diane & Jon Levinson said...

Dear Kathy and family,
Danielle called us immediately with the sad news that your father passed away. We only knew your dad from meeting him at a few lovely family events at your home. But from reading all the tributes, we can see that he was a terrific person who will be missed by many.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. When you return home, we will be there for you.
Love, Diane and Jon

7/01/2008 11:52 AM  
Anonymous Peter Hong said...

Dear Kathy and David:

You might know your father had strong opinions about most things, and would loudly state them to anyone within earshot (which, given his voice, was quite a distance !).
He often ranted at me about seemingly everything, from parking charges at the Times to “Liberals” and the general decline of everything. Much of it was a show, and he always lowered his voice –almost to a whisper-- when speaking to me about what concerned him most, as if to signal he was departing from the curmudgeon character and really meant what he was going to say. He did this only when speaking about the two of you.
In our conversations, your dad would loudly attack injustices he saw in the Times building or Los Angeles as a whole, tell me why it was my duty to devote my career to righting them, then switch to his quiet, gentle tone. One of the first times he did this, he paused for quite some time, held eye contact for a few moments, then said, “I was never too busy for my children.”
It was a bit of a boast, but he clearly also wanted to make sure I understood this was perhaps the most important advice he could give.
Over the years, he would stop by my desk, lean over, then whisper, something like “Kathy graduated with honors and won a writing award,” or “David’s going to begin officer training tomorrow.”
When I had a question about my own daughter’s education, or some other parenting matter, your dad would give wonderful, insightful guidance filled with anecdotes from your childhoods.
Your father cared so much about the Times; his pain from its diminution was acute and transparent. Those of us who knew him well felt it. Perhaps the only thing he cared more about was the two of you. He got so much pleasure from being your dad. All around him could feel that too.

7/01/2008 12:26 PM  
Anonymous JolieBlondeLA said...

My condolences. I've just learned of his blog today and look forward to reading the many gifts he left for us. As a writer, the light of his words have always inspired me to keep reaching for more. Thank you for sharing the wonderful family photos.

Deepest Sympathy,
Jolie

7/01/2008 2:32 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Dear Kathy and Family,

We are so sorry to hear the sad news. Our thoughts are with you.

Love, Anna and Peter Moskovits

7/01/2008 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken was, well, Ken. There never was another like him, and there never will be.
eric

7/01/2008 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There aren’t many who cared more than Ken about journalism and The Times. I met him on the night Reagan beat Carter. When Carter conceded defeat with the polls still open here, Ken bolted for the phone and dictated a lede stating thatCarter was suppressing the California vote, and rightly predicting Democrats would lose congressional seats here. He showed a rookie how it was done, then and till his final day. -- Dan Morain

7/01/2008 3:37 PM  
Blogger alan charles said...

Kathy and David,

I met your dad more than 40 years ago when he was the new reporter for the Times Westside edition and I was the new aide to the local assemblyman, Tony Beilenson. We became friends, perhaps unusual for an occasional subject/source with a journalist. We had lunch, he came to my home for dinner, and we talked regularly, as I moved on and out of politics and became a vice chancellor at UCLA and he moved up at the Times. On no social occasion did we discuss a story in which I might be involved. He was a straight-shooter and a curmudgeon (the latter trait I share) and we vented about the world. We lost touch after we both retired, but reconnected just last week. You will be pleased to know that in the first five minutes of our conversation he did not talk about what we had been doing, but only about you, David's bronze star and Kathy's work at Packard. He was so proud of you. We agreed to have lunch again. That was scheduled for today. I miss him already, again.

Alan Charles

7/01/2008 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Jim Newton said...

Dear Kathy and David,

Your dad and I had dinner just before he left on his cruise a few months back. He was nostalgic about Dartmouth, concerned for The Times, delighted to be heading out to see parts of the world he had never been. And he was deeply, movingly proud of both of you. He was, in short, your father as I have always known him, down to the crumbs he scattered around the table when he started sputtering about Tribune.

I'll remember that evening -- fittingly, it took place at the Dining Car, where he seemed quite at home -- and tuck it away along with my long thread of memories of our friend and colleague, your one-of-a-kind dad.

My thoughts are with the two of you.

Jim Newton

7/01/2008 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy, David,
I knew your dad socially (via his sister; long, boring story), and then he and I overlapped briefly during my (relatively) short stint as TV editor, when he'd give Howard Rosenberg hell for this or that. It was that passion that informed so much of his reporting, and reading what all the others have said reminds me of how much journalism has lost and is losing. Your dad will be missed by us all. Sad times, and sad Times.
jt

7/01/2008 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy and David,
I'm sorry I've not met you. I feel, courtesy of a proud father, that I know the both of you.
I first HEARD about Ken Reich from his editor at the West Side Edition who told my editor at the San Gabriel Edition about him.
"This guy actually yells at people on the phone" said the editor.
When Ken and I were promoted to Cityside (Metro to you new folks) I made an effort to stay out of his way. I mean, who wants to be yelled at?
That changed as we spent moments together.
Over time I discovered his daughter was vying for a college at the same time my son Michael was.
One day I encountered Ken in the hallway outside the Times Test Kitchen.
I asked him where his daughter was going to go to school.
"Yale" came the terse answer. And with that he returned to the City Room with his chin held high.
FDR would have been proud.
Some of us, you father included, worked at the paper when it was "camelot".
Our management under Otis Chandler included Bill Thomas, Frank Haven and Mark Murphy.
As you might surmise, Murphy was Irish.
this came into play one St.Pat's day. There was a commotion in the city room and I looked up to see a small parade of staffers march by Murphy's office led by Ken, who was waving an Orange flag (symbol of Irish Protestants).
Pranks and playtime were balanced with Times journalists seeking out stories in our complex city.
All of this with the blessing and delighted urging of management.
Your father, like many at the paper, knew the history of and where the bodies were buried in most of the stories covered. People with that knowledge don't just walk out of a J-school.
After 37 years I left the paper. Took a buyout and have had people say that I was fortunate to not still be there.
I saw your father at an Al Martinez book signing in Brentwood.
I was shocked at his condition. However, when I talked to him it was the same Ken Reich, ascerbic wit and all.
Age has caught up with me and as a result I'll be having surgery about the time of the funeral service.
I am sorry that I will not be there in person to bid him farewell...but then again, I will.
Best,
Boris Yaro

7/01/2008 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Larry B. Stammer said...

Dear Kathy and David,

Please accept my sincere condolences on the death of your father. It was so unexpected. I can’t know how great your loss is. But, in some minor way, allow me to join my colleagues in paying tribute to the journalist, father and man as I knew him. Ken was in his unique and often idiosyncratic way an exemplar for all who aspired to great journalism. Years ago in college I first heard Finley Peter Dunn’s oft-quoted maxim that the “job of a newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Ken came to embody that brash, presumptuous and unalloyed ideal so critical to a democratic nation. He could be tough, honest and unyielding. He was fair. He believed in accountability. At times he wielded his position as a member of the Fourth Estate with studied fury. I remember standing in the governor’s press office one morning in Sacramento shortly after joining The Times bureau. A secretary with a vaguely English accent was on the telephone. As she listened, her face turned red. Then her jaw dropped. Minutes later the shaken secretary slowly returned the phone to its cradle. “Who,” she asked, “is Ken Reich!” I very much doubt she ever had to ask again. I’m equally confidant she never put him off again.
As the years went by and my assignments moved me to the main office, Ken would often stop me as I passed his desk and point to a wire story he had called up on his computer screen. It might have been the latest developments out of Iraq or Israel or who-knows-where. Soon, we’d spar over whether religion was good or evil, especially when religion entered the public square or figured prominently as a stake holder in a conflict. I think he had fun testing and stretching me as a religion writer. We shared a common bond in coming from military families. I once told him that my father was a Tennessee farm boy who dropped out of high school and joined the Navy as a seaman apprentice, was a Pearl Harbor survivor, and retired many years later as a Lieutenant Commander. “My grandfather,” Ken rejoined, “was an admiral.” It was a matter-of-face statement, but I detected a grin.
Through it all, Ken was not so much a passionate man with a patina of gentility, but a gentle man in whom passions stirred deeply. He was most passionate about you, his children. Ken would often share information about your latest triumphs or whereabouts. It was in those supremely transparent moments when a father’s deep love and pride elicited from him not a shout but the high compliment of a whisper. May you hear it always.

- Larry B. Stammer

7/01/2008 8:47 PM  
Blogger maikib said...

I attended high school with David, and met Mr Reich, as I called him then-- a habit I could never break, around 1990. He was always one of my greatest supporters, forever encouraging my academic endeavors and inspiring all of us, really, to reach beyond our goals. He was one of the greatest influences for one of my most important decisions-- to attend Vassar College in New York. Insanely proud of his children, I remember he telling me about Kathy's adjustment to Yale, and one of the things that she missed most was fresh fruit in the winter. Knowing how homesick I was, Mr Reich-- sent me a box of fresh fruit every winter I was at Vassar, along with an encouraging note and other news about what was happening at home. I've never forgotten his thoughtfulness-- and that fruit certainly was a bright spot through a very cold winter!

As many have noted, Mr Reich always made a marked impression on everyone he met-- a spirited conversationalist, passionate and inspiring, my aunt, who met him briefly on a layover in Hawaii upon the conclusion of a cruise he was on with David, frequently recalled their lunch and commented on what a nice time, and more significantly, smart and interesting conversations, they had. More than 15 years later, and having never met him again, a testament to his enduring spirit.

Mr Reich always kept in touch with my parents, calling occasionally to catch up and inquire after the family; even when David and I would lose touch, Mr Reich was a constant. He and my dad would trade what I affectionately called "odes to their children." I happened to be home when he called last Christmas to wish the family a happy holiday, and had the opportunity to speak with him. He was so proud of you, David and Kathy, and I remember thinking that everyone should be so lucky. What an incredible legacy he has in you.

I am deeply saddened for your loss and hope that you can take some comfort in these messages and memories of the lasting impact he has had on us all.

Love, Mikie Benedict

7/02/2008 7:04 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

Dear Kathy and David,

Here is what I posted on my blog at NBCOlympics.com. Please accept my sincere condolences and my apologies for not being able to make the services. I trust your dad would understand -- I'm on assignment, getting ready for the Olympics. - Alan

http://www.nbcolympics.com/blogs/blog=alanabrahamsonsblog/postid=144729.html#a+tribute+ken+reich

A tribute to Ken Reich
Veteran LA Times reporter, 70
By Alan Abrahamson
Posted Tuesday, July 1, 2008 3:54 PM ET

OMAHA -- Ken Reich, who was one of my predecessors as Los Angeles Times Olympic reporter, an inspiration to me and source of steady counsel, has died.

I feel his loss keenly. Ken, for instance, was -- like me -- tremendously excited about the onset of the Beijing Olympics. He viewed them, as do I, not just as a sporting event but as one of the signal events in the history of our times. It is profoundly saddening that his time will not extend to and through these Games.

Ken died Monday in his sleep in Sherman Oaks, Calif., his daughter, Kathleen, told the Times. He was 70.

Ken covered the 1984 L.A. Games -- from the bid through the enormous success that the Games proved to be.

Ken could be cantankerous and contentious. But with me, never. Maybe because I was always willing with him to admit, right up front, what I didn't know.

I started writing about the Olympics for the L.A. Times in late 1998. Like anyone new to a beat, had question after question after question. Ken had a lot of answers, and when he didn't know the answer to a particular question, he pretty much always knew where to direct me. He was a direct link to an earlier era of the International Olympic Committee, in particular.

Over the years, our dialogue would continue. I left the paper for NBC in 2006. Still, we kept talking just like before. Ken frequently gave voice to suspicions about this or that person, or this or that program. The Salt Lake City corruption scandal had confirmed for him the excesses of the movement. But he never lost faith in the possibility of the Olympics to inspire. That was the beauty of an Olympic opening ceremony, he and I would agree -- reminding each of us that every human being is full of promise and potential.

In a world rife with conflict and strife, he always used to say to me, the Olympics remain one of the few ways -- maybe the only way -- in which we all come together. That's not a new sentiment but Ken truly believed it, passionately. The administrators who oversaw the IOC and other entities were thus stewards of a sacred trust, and he believed even more passionately that he -- and then I, and the others privileged enough to get to cover the Olympic movement for a living -- had one fundamental job: keep them honest.

7/02/2008 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Roger Smith/LA TIMES said...

Kathy and David and family:

I'm sad to hear about Ken's passing. I had the privilege and fun to sit near him in his last years at the Times. He was one of a kind, a journalist/warrior who took few prisoners when he saw an outrage being committed. But he was also generous with his colleagues and those he knew needed a hand up.
His greatest joy was his family. His eyes danced when he talked about Cathy and David's latest accomplishments. He was a very proud dad.
We will miss him in many many ways.
Roger Smith

7/02/2008 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last time I saw Ken at a Xmas party, he immediately launched into a proud-papa account of your various doings -- and the look on his face -- well, he so loved his kids. It was beautiful to see.

I worked at The Times with Ken for more than 30 years and while my eyes widened sometimes at his pure nerve, he set an example for all reporters in his doggedness and his refusal to accept the company line. I was sad to hear of his passing. My condolences to you and all of his family.

Claudia Luther

7/02/2008 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy and David,

I was a librarian at the Times from 1980 to 1992 and was the "go to" person for Ken's coverage of the 1984 Olympics. He was demanding, determined, and always came in going at full speed.

On a trip to Thailand to cover an Olympic related even, he brought back two rolls of raw silk--a green one for me, and a pink one for Kathy, which I sewed into a dress. I still have the beautiful jacket I made for myself.

He would keep me informed on the hiking he was doing with David on the Pacific Crest trail; the goal to hike the entire distance over time.

My sincere condolences. I'm proud to say he was a friend of mine.

Joyce Sherwood

7/02/2008 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good guy gone. So sad.

Martin Bernheimer

7/02/2008 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Henry Weinstein said...

Dear Kathy and David:
Please accept my deep regrets about the death of your father who was a great journalist and a wonderful father. I was privileged to know him for more than 30 years and to have worked with him for a good part of that period at the Los Angeles Times. He was an indefatigible reporter who saved the City of Los Angeles millions of dollars on the 1984 Olympics, played a crucial role in the passage of a consumer-friendly initiative that the insurance industry spent billions trying to defeat, illuminated readers regularly with his writing about politics and earthquakes. His stories were loaded with fact after maddening fact that he dug out one way or another. Armed with that information, Ken did not pull his punches in print, just as he did not pull his punches in person. He always seemed to be on the side of the little people, but he was not predictable. Occasionally, we would argue vigorously about a hot political issue but it never got personal; the next morning he would come up and tell me his latest joke--normally very funny. This year, my wife Laurie Becklund and I had some wonderful inter-actions with Ken as he helped us plan a trip to India, a country he had visited eight times, knew thoroughly and loved. He introduced us to some wonderful journalists in Mumbai who quickly became friends. He loved talking about the 2008 presidential race and said to me on several occasions this year that after all the time he spent covering civil rights in the South when he was The Times Atlanta bureau chief that there was only one person he could conceive of voting for this year--Barack Obama. It is so much the essence of your Dad that he was blogging and emailing about The Times until the end. Above all else, he loved you both deeply. I never knew a better Dad. You are his living legacy. Be proud of it.
With deep regrets, Henry Weinstein

7/02/2008 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make a statement to honor Ken Reich: Demand a quality newspaper and support excellence in reporting. DO NOT BUY A COPY OF THE LA TIMES OR LOG ONTO THE WEBSITE ON JULY 9TH. Make the case to your friends and co-workers to join in this effort. If we act collectively, we can make this an effective protest that hits Zell et.al. where it hurts and forces them to understand that ultimately we hold the purse strings.

7/02/2008 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Bill Dwyre said...

I am sitting in my office at The Times now, wishing Ken could come in one more time, blustering about something, shirt untucked, ready to pick up the phone, make about 10 calls and write a story that is right on the money and had needed to be written for some time.

There are no more like him.

--bill dwyre

7/02/2008 4:11 PM  
Anonymous Bob Rawitch said...

So many tales and so much love for Ken. I worked with him for nearly 30 years and have known him for 40. We would see oen another at OAFS meetings or exchange emails on one thing or another. Everyone has said how much he loved reporting and you two kids.

His dedication to tough reporting was such that I recall when he went to Atlanta we were all sure he'd come home in a coffin or with a Pulitzer. He didn't win a Pulitzer but he wrote scores of great stories and instead came back to L.A. with your mom.

All the posts capture his personality and dedication wonderfully. First and foremost he believed in keeping people honest and he always shared his own views, whether you wanted to hear them or not. He will deeply missed and you can be deservedly proud of him and his contributions to journalism.

7/02/2008 4:13 PM  
Anonymous John Balzar said...

Ken Reich was an original, and a good man too – a hard combination to carry off for a whole lifetime. I share the sorrow of family and friends. We are all poorer from his passing. But like others in this list, I am left with a feast of memories and a lasting example of idealism. So one last time, thanks Ken. –John Balzar.

7/02/2008 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, this is very sad. Ken Reich was a terrific guy. I learned a lot from him. He had real integrity. He had great spirit and courage.

Bill Bradley

www.newwestnotes.com

7/02/2008 6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken was truly one of a kind.
In 25 years at the Times, I’ve never seen (or should I say, heard) anyone tougher on government officials (or at times, his editors). Yet I’ve never known anyone warmer when it came to his passion for his children, for journalism and for the L.A. Times. I’d suggest a moment of silence, but somehow, with Ken, it just wouldn’t seem fitting.
Condolences to David and Kathy, whom I’ve never met in person but nonetheless feel I know because of Ken’s frequent references. You had a great dad.
Paul Feldman

7/02/2008 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Steve Futterman said...

Every journalist should be required to learn the way Ken Reich did his job.

At news conferences it wasn't the newsmaker who controlled the room -- it was Ken! That was never more true then during his coverage of the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics -- which was masterful. When Ken would enter the room -- usually in a crumpled suit -- there would be palpable buzz in the room. People would turn their heads, you would see fingers pointing in his direction as newcomers were being told who this man was. We all wanted to know what question (or more likely series of questions) Ken Reich would ask.

In that sense Ken brought some entertainment to normally staid news events.

He knew his stuff.

We knew he knew his stuff.

And he knew that we knew that he knew his stuff.

He could be a bit loud and impatient (maybe a little more than a bit, alright maybe a lot more) when he felt he wasn't getting the proper answers. But with Ken Reich on a story you knew more often than not he would have correct angle.

After covering a story that Ken was covering, the first thing I would do the next morning was to find out how Ken wrote about it. If it was a really big story, I would sometimes go to the Robertson Blvd. newsstand at around 11pm to get an early edition of the Times to see how Ken covered it.

He was not afraid to ask the toughest of questions and didn't care who he was asking.

He seemed to be after just one thing -- the one thing every journalist strives for -- the truth.

A great loss.

Steve Futterman
CBS News

7/02/2008 7:30 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Kathy and David,

I was so sad to learn of Ken's passing. He was a mentor to many young reporters who started at the LA Times, including to me. I admired his love and loyalty to Dartmouth, and the grit with which he defended our failing profession.

It's a big loss.

Matthew Mosk

7/02/2008 7:30 PM  
Blogger Doyle said...

Kathy,
Please accept the condolences of all of us in the Times Washington Bureau. During his long career in LA and his retirement too, Ken was always generous to us with praise, criticism, story suggestions and news tips. Let me rephrase that: Ken occasionally drove us nuts with his constant praise, criticism, story suggestions and news tips. But he always did it for the right reasons: a thirst for news, a hunger for the truth, and a passion for justice. We'll miss him dearly.
Best wishes
Doyle McManus

7/02/2008 8:19 PM  
Blogger Narda said...

It is true, as many have said, that Ken lived and breathed journalism and was among the best at doing it, but Kathy and David, you must know you were the most important part of your father's life, from the moment you were born until he died. You'd probably be embarrassed to know how much he talked about you both--with enormous pride--given any opportunity. Many of us felt we were with you every step of the way as you grew into adulthood. In my case, every time we saw or talked to each other the conversation began with updates of you, David and Kathy, (later the grandchildren) then finally, and always, The Times.

The last time I saw him, after I had left the Chronicle and he was up here visiting Kathy, we had a wonderful lunch in Berkeley. His keen intelligence and sharp wit immediately reminded me of what I had always found attractive and entertaining in Ken, two qualities of his that must have been missed at the newspaper after he left.

I appreciated that there was never any idle chitchat with Ken. He did not suffer fools, sources who lied or obfuscated, or, unfortunately, secretaries who tried to shield their bosses from his often withering questions. I once watched Ken, sitting in last row of the old cityroom, loudly berating a secretary over the phone; he was so into the rhythm of his tirade that he stood up and began pacing back and forth, continuing to talk, mesmerizing the switchboard operators behind him, taking longer and longer strides with each sentence, until the phone cord could stretch no more and he walked right out from under his headset--but nevertheless continued his harangue, to the amusement of much of the cityroom.

Ken's expression of his genuine love for The Times will be missed, as will as his unblemished loyalty to--and respect for--its staff, and his embracing with such relish the new form of the blog (while remaining charmingly wedded to dial-up).

Sincere condolences to you both,

Narda Zacchino

7/03/2008 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy and David,
I was so sorry to hear the news about your dad’s passing. Like so many others here, I shared many years at the Times with Ken. We were “podmates” for part of that time and I have many memories of those days.
I started in the Times’ editorial library in 1983. At that time we had clip files—individual envelopes of stories clipped out of the paper arranged by subject and byline. Ken was a frequent user of the library’s clip files and was a vocal critic of our move to stop clipping the paper and put all of our stories online. He finally came around to the Internet world, indeed embraced it through his blog, but was he unhappy about it in the beginning.
On election nights, Ken would be at his desk following every twist and turn of the evening’s returns with relish, even though he may not have been working that night. He just loved being in the newsroom--the atmosphere, the excitement of an election night.
I think of those things now with fondness, because I came to see that Ken was, in the best sense of the phrase, an old-school journalist. He was tenacious, unwavering in his sense of doing the right thing and unafraid to speak truth to power, or to anyone else for that matter. Journalism and the Times have lost a much-needed advocate.
He was irascible and outspoken, but underneath his gruff exterior he had a good heart, he was a good man and father. He was extremely proud of you and David, always recounting with pride your latest triumphs and accomplishments.
The outpouring of the messages here speak volumes about his character. I was fortunate to have known and worked with him for many years. My deepest condolences go out to you and your family.

Nona Yates

7/03/2008 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was my great pleasure to interview Ken Reich on the Full Disclosure Network a number of times on various issues. Whether it was his expansive knowledge of Earthquakes or his insider perspective on ethics in the media, he was always ready to provide an in-depth response to prickly questions. Here is the URL to part-one of a two-part interview with him on the issue of media bias in the coverage of the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. http://www.fulldisclosure.net/Programs/337.php

Please enjoy, Leslie Dutton

7/03/2008 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca Trounson said...

From two generations of our family to two generations of yours:

Such fond memories. We will miss him greatly.

-- The Trounsons

7/05/2008 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Daniel Hernandez said...

Impossible to forget that big voice bellowing through the metro newsroom when Ken Reich was on the phone with a source, accepting no less than what was necessary for his assignment. My condolences to your family, and to Ken's family at the L.A. Times.

7/06/2008 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Irwin L. Facher said...

I first met Ken at Dartmouth in 1958. We were both Government majors and Ken was always noticeable in the academic area because he was so bright, opinionated and outspoken (sometimes loudly outspoken). Outside the classroom, Ken was especially inquisitive, always eager to travel and learn new things. Except for Robert Frost, I never knew anyone more ready to take “the road less traveled by” and it made all the difference to him.

Ken and I started Harvard Law School together in the fall of 1961 and he was smart enough to realize journalism would be a far better calling by November when he quit Law School for the third and last time.

I saw a lot of Ken when he was writing for Life in NYC and many of the experiences were incredibly memorable. He let me accompany him to NAACP offices to deliver an advance copy of Life to Roy Wilkins when Medger Evers was killed and he let me pose as a photographer so we could obtain a room in Nantucket over a busy Labor Day week-end.

Ken was always thoughtful and interesting and this made my life a lot more interesting. He planned my honeymoon trip through all the western states in 1966. He introduced my wife and I to the entire Carter clan (including Jimmy & Billy) by driving us to Plains, Georgia after the Democratic Convention which he had been covering in Atlanta. Ken called frequently to discuss politics - as recently as this June after the last primaries - and he was still strongly opinionated and very knowledgeable.

I’ll miss his calls and miss him even more.

Irwin L. Facher

7/07/2008 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy and David,

I send my deepest sympathy to you and your families on the loss of this wonderful man. Through your mother's family, the Shermans of Birmingham, Alabama, I met Ken when he was the LA Bureau Chief in Atlanta in the early 70s. We stayed in touch across all the years and turns in our respective careers. He had one of the finest minds I encountered in almost 40 years of newspapering. To say that his integrity, personality and consuming appetite for life were memorable is an understatement. Prior to his recent health troubles, Ken was planning to visit me and my wife Krystyna in rural Pennsylvania on his way back from his 50th reunion at Dartmouth. Because of a holiday break, I was late in finding out about Ken's death, but in a sense our last interaction was journalistic. I went on line this morning to contact Ken for his opinion on political blogs for an upcoming article. He and I had conferred recently on several columns I was writing. I shall miss his wise advice, but more than that the pleasure of his company and his fiercely challenging intelligence.
Sincerely,
Howell Raines

7/08/2008 8:30 AM  
Anonymous John and Jane Wheaton said...

Ken was a Dartmouth classmate. He often told the story that he was the first graduate from Palm Springs High School to go to Dartmouth. I've known Ken for a long time, but it is in recent years that Jane & I got to spend special time with him. Ken would come to Sacramento and someone was always having a dinner party for him as he was so fascinating to hear speak whether one always agreed with him or not. I think sometimes he hung an idea out there just to see what the response would be.
A few years ago - it was when David was going to Iraq- we went to the Shakespeare Festival (Ken was a great backer of the festival)in Ashland with Ken where we stayed at Ken's favorite Bed & Breakfast owned by long time friends. Ken had just come back from diving the Alaskian Highway by himself. What a wonderful and stimulating time we had talking about the trip, books, world affairs, The Times, Shakespeare and just fun things. Ken also loved his ship trips to Anarctica, around Africa and wherever. We will miss Ken and he will also be missed at our Left Coast class lunches in San Francisco-- Ken was a special "one of a kind."

We will be thinking of you Ken-- John & Jane Wheaton

8/09/2008 12:31 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy & David,
I just fell upon this sad news while wasting time playing on the computer. I am deeply saddened by the passing of your dad. Unlike work colleagues, friends, and family, I was simply your next-door-neighbor for many years; I saw David Michael come into this world! I didn't have much to do with your dad, but I do have one, vivid memory. I went shoe shopping with Kathy and Ken one day. He was buying himself a nice, new pair of work shoes. After, we went out for a bite and then stopped by his folks house, I think. I was, maybe, six at the time. I remember him asking me my opinion about the shoes and was taken aback that someone, much less KEN, wanted my opinion. I'm truly sorry for your loss - though it's been two years, now, the sentiments are still sincere. May your families be blessed with good health and much happiness and may Ken's life be a blessing to them. Keep talking about the wonderful man that he was.
Jill Spencer-Spector

9/05/2010 4:14 PM  

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