Navigation Home Reunion Membership Gallery


G.K. Hodenfield at Pointe du Hoc

A Panel Disucssion on the changes Stripes has undergone

Article on Red Grandy - "Eyewitness to History"

Red Grandy's eulogy delivered by his sister Anne. (PDF)

In Remembrance

Mike Mealey
Bob Reismann
Red Grandy
Frank Praytor
Ralph Otwell
William Murphy
Bill McNamara
Jack Fuller
Judi Erickson
Hal Foster

Vietnam at 50



By: Josh Cradduck - Syracuse Press Club

The Press Club is celebrating 65 years and will from time to time shine a light this year on local icons of the industry that call Upstate home. You may know their voice, their name or recognize their work – but do you know the full story?

HERMON, NY -- You can find Lazy River Playground about 2 hours north of Syracuse, just off Route 11 in the town of Hermon. It's hidden in the woods along a dusty road. A road that's dotted with small diners, old pickup trucks surrounded by growing weeds and a steady stream of young fisherman traveling in packs down to the river on a hot day, praying for the big catch. It's the stuff of Rockwell.

The owner of the campground is prepping for a busy summer season ahead. He'll be dealing with campers, weddings and reunions. Much needs to be done. The area may be Rockwell, but the owner has done an equally impressive job of documenting the 20th century.

His name is Francis Grandy. He goes by "Red." And his photos have helped tell the story of a world mired in war and its long road to recovery. He's quite humble, brushing off any accomplishments. He calls himself a farm boy who got away with being a "paid tourist." He's more than that.

Grandy served as the chief photographer of the Stars and Stripes newspaper, the daily paper of the US Armed Forces, for 35 years. You've seen his work. You might not have known he calls Northern New York his home and at 94, is still very much a part of this rural community. He's as sharp as ever and is overflowing with stories.

Name any iconic figure of the latter half of the 20th century and Grandy has photographed and/or met them. From politicians to musicians to Hollywood stars. Eisenhower. Kennedy. Nixon. Khrushchev. Reagan. Winchell. Elvis. Bernstein. Ray Charles. Louis Armstrong. Stravinsky. Queen Elizabeth. Murrow.

The list goes on and he has a story about every one of them. Indeed, as Red told the Syracuse Press Club on a day-long visit to his home recently, the story behind the picture is usually more interesting than the picture itself.

Grandy was born Jan. 26, 1922 on the Grandy Farm in the town of Russell. His father, John B. Grandy, brought the doctor on a sleigh to help deliver Red. The doctor was paid five dollars, "the best five dollars he ever spent," Grandy's father said, according to Red's autobiography. His mother, Zoe, passed away just three years later, leaving his two older sisters, Jean and Pauline and his younger brother Lloyd facing a life ahead without a mother (who also shared the nickname "Red" due to her auburn hair).

The Grandy Farm was over 300 acres, ripe for swimming, fishing and hiking. Though the children split time in Long Island for a time with their aunt, the Grandy kids longed for a trip back home in the summer. He and his brother would often hide in the woods, being dragged back to school, Grandy says.

During the war, Grandy's father decided to build a dance hall beside the Grasse River. The dance hall was not quite the success his father had hoped and it soon became a roller skating rink. Soon, it grew into a mini golf course with swimming and horseback riding. Lazy River Playground was born.

Before documenting world events, Grandy helped play a role in them, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He eventually enrolled as a cinema student at the University of Southern California, hoping to make film documentaries.

It was not to be. He landed his job at Stars and Stripes on Jan. 2, 1951. "Working for the newspaper was a paradise, full of adventure and the excitement of the assignments, travel and the Cold War atmosphere was exactly my cup of tea," Grandy says. His brief contract was ending soon, but his next assignment would change his career.

Stripes editor Ken Zumwalt assigned Grandy to cover General Eisenhower’s visit to the French Sector in Koblenz, Germany. After walking with Ike at Mt. Carmel, everyone headed to lunch. During the meal the press found that President Truman had fired General MacArthur earlier that day. Apparently Eisenhower wasn't informed. Grandy told his colleagues that capturing the exact moment Eisenhower was given the news would make a great photo.

Dick O’Malley of the AP broke the news to Ike. “(MacArthur) has been fired by Pres. Truman and replaced by Gen Ridgeway," he said. Grandy was ready with his camera, anticipating the moment. Ike looked around, befuddled. “Well I’ll be darned,” he said. One of the most famous photographs of the 20th century was made.

It was picked up by the Associated Press and proceeded to run in almost every newspaper and magazine in the US. It won nearly every photography award. Later, Ike sent Grandy a copy of the photo, autographed: "For Red Grandy, who in this picture, surprised an old soldier.” At the first of many reunions later, Ike exclaimed to Grandy: "By golly Red, I'm glad I did somebody some good here in Europe!

There were about 25 photographers there at the news conference, but he got the shot because he anticipated it, he says. It's all about anticipation. "If I go to an air show, I anticipate there will be a collision, I follow every inch." Grandy stressed that to all up-and-coming journalists. But he also stressed that a lot of what he did also came down to pure, ordinary luck. Every adventure is a matter of "good luck/bad luck."

Of course, there was more than military. More than wars. He shot the famous reunion of Robert Vogeler and his wife in Vienna when Vogeler was released after nearly 17 months in a Hungarian jail for on spy charges. Grandy shot the Olympics (he loved skiing), bullfights, movie stars, musicians. He's had pistols drawn on him by Russian and East German police. But he also admired the ordinary. He loves his picture of an Izmir Donkey. Of fishermen. Of traffic jams. The Brussels' World's Fair. He's snuck in the "arms" of the Eiffel Tower to grab the perfect picture of Paris. When encountered, the French Police apologized when they found out he worked for Stars and Stripes.

But those celebrities! He marveled at the eyes Elizabeth Taylor when they met at Cannes.

He doesn't say "and so forth" or "et cetera," when trying to quickly end a sentence. He often punctuates them with 'and cha cha cha' - a phrase he picked up from his encounters with movie star and singer Ann-Margret.

On Murrow: "Oh god, he was very open, very talkative."

He wondered why Ray Charles was sitting on his right hand during a performance. Turns out it was shaking so bad because of drug use.

When a reporter questioned Muhammad Ali’s acting ability during a news conference for his movie "The Greatest," Ali signaled to the back, inviting Frank Sinatra up to say a few words. Everyone turned around (except Grandy, who got the picture), to which Ali confirmed he was indeed a great actor...there was no Sinatra. Ali shook Grandy's hand but wouldn't let it go...a woman was pressuring him about a check he owed and he pretended he didn't hear her.                        

In his famous photograph of renowned kibitzer Walter Winchell taken at Eisenhower's inauguration (Grandy wasn't credentialed), no one knew that just before he began broadcasting, Winchell drank from a flask hidden in the hedge he was standing by. Then the microphone comes from over the hedge. "You're on," a voice in the background yells. Winchell shouts "Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea." Grandy hadn't known until that moment he was talking to Walter Winchell.

He still marvels at his pal Eisenhower. "He was a down to earth, common sense, logical person." He says he did so much and got so little credit. The press preferred the more flashy Kennedy, who was more apt to make a more striking speech (much like Trump, Grandy throws in quickly before saying "excuse me," and deciding not to jump into today's politics).

Then there's the story about Mickey Rooney not quite fit to print (inquire within).

He describes many of his years of celebrity encounters as "movie stars, cocktail bars and shiny cars!"

Grandy laments that upon his death, he won't be known locally for his photographs. It'll be his amphibious car. The rare vehicle - one of only about 3,000 made - is still in tip-top shape. Purchased in 1965 in Germany, the car serves as one of the main attractions at Lazy River. He drives the car around the massive property and weaves his way through the trees down to a small hill into the Grasse River. He pulls a lever. The propeller kicks in. The classic convertible transforms into a boat.

The car, like Grandy, has seen its fair share of excitement. He and his passenger were submerged briefly (with the roof closed) in the Rhine River in Germany when the ramp he was expecting to drive across wasn't there. He had it shipped across the Atlantic. He drove it to photo-shoots in New York City and has docked at Lake Champlain.

There's not much activity on this portion of the Grasse River, save the nearby fishermen gawking at the mere site of the car moving along. He stays clear of the bridge because passersby tend to call 911, thinking a car drove off the bridge.

For all he has done, Grandy remains remarkably modest. He says that all he has done is press a button on a camera...but insists his late brother Lloyd is the real hero. Lloyd got his discharge from the Air Force after flying 51 bombing missions as pilot of a B-17 flying Fortress out of Foggia, Italy. He built a massive barn on his property all by himself. A wooden fence surrounds Lloyd's old property (nicknamed "La Casa Grandy"). He did that by himself, too. The family cemetery is there and Red will be buried next to Lloyd.

On the short trip from Lazy River Road to Grandy Road, Red shows off the strip where he and his brother would take off and land in their airplane. A single portrait adorns the mantle at his home. It's not Eisenhower, or some picture taken far overseas. It's Lloyd in his military outfit.

He says he doesn't miss the job much at age 94. It's more difficult these days to get a scoop, he says. "Everyone has a camera (with their phone)." He has his hands full at the campground, as it is... but admits upon reflection of his life as a photographer: "a press pass is a passport to adventure."

In all, over 144,000 stories told. Not bad for a farm boy from Hermon.

Red continually apologies for telling too many stories. He says they are inconsequential and readers won't be interested. He goes silent, waiting for the next question in the interview for this article...

That's until he flips to the next page in his photo album and throws his head back in laughter.

"Oh, God, this was wild, you got to hear this one."

Back to Top

Read Frank Praytor's Stars and Stripes obituary:
Former Korean War correspondent photographed feeding orphaned kitten dies

Frank Praytor (PSS 1952-1954), war correspondent, advertising executive and public relations strategist, died Jan. 10, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was 90 years old and had been in poor health for several years.

Born Franklin Denson Praytor on Sept. 24, 1927, Frank spent his early years in Birmingham, Alabama.

In 1947 he began working in journalism ó as a police reporter for the Birmingham News. While attending Birmingham Southern College he wrote for the Birmingham Age-Herald. That led to a post as northern Alabama bureau manager for the news agency International News Service.

He joined the Marine Corps in 1950, and was assigned as a combat correspondent with the 1st Marine Division, reporting on the division’s combat engagements on the Korean peninsula. In 1952, a photo of Frank holding and feeding a tiny kitten lost on a battlefield ran in newspapers around the world.

While awaiting a transfer to write for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, he flew from Korea to New York City to accept first prize in a photo contest sponsored by the magazine Popular Photography. Returning to Korea, he wrote on-scene reports about prisoner of war exchanges and the Korean War truce-signing at Panmunjom. For the next two years of his Stars and Stripes reporting, he was based in Tokyo.

Discharged from the Marines in 1954, Frank took on corporate communications jobs with utility companies in Houston, Texas ó then moved to Oklahoma where he served as spokesman for the astronautics division of General Dynamics Corp. Returning to Houston in 1962, he worked as an account executive with the advertising agency Foote, Cone and Belding before launching his own advertising and public relations firm, which he ran for many years.

In late 1979, Frank moved to Durango, Colorado. There he created highly successful tourism campaigns for the City of Durango and oversaw advertising and communications strategies for a number of political campaigns. While in Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, he was active in Rotary Club activities, holding senior leadership posts.

For many years Frank stayed involved with the Stars and Stripes alumni. He was the hands-on editor of the Stars and Stripes Association News from 1998 to 2002, and served as an active and productive member of the Board of Directors of the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library Association.

In 1992, Frank relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he worked as a freelance writer, public relations consultant and Realtor.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, a sister and his stepson Robert. He is survived by Katherine Praytor, his wife of more than 46 years; granddaughter Nicole; grandson Jacob; great grandsons, Landon, Brantley and Brendyn; and great granddaughter Preslie.

An interment of ashes ceremony will be held May 18 at Santa Fe National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, Frank’s family asks that friends make donations to the Humane Society of the United States, or to their own favorite charitable organization.

Back to Top

Ralph Otwell, former Pacific Stars and Stripes editor, dies at 90

Ralph Maurice Otwell, 90, of Evanston, Ill., native of Hot Springs, Ark., passed away peacefully March 8, 2017. Otwell was editor of Pacific Stars and Stripes during the Korean War before going on to work at the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Daily News and Chicago Today.

Husband of the late Janet Smith Otwell, he is survived by three sons, Brian, Douglas and David; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, at Alice Millar Chapel on the Northwestern University campus, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, or Northshore Hospice,

The following was printed March 14 by the Chicago Tribune:

“Ralph Otwell was managing editor and then editor of the Chicago Sun-Times during a period when the tabloid newspaper won six Pulitzer Prizes.

“Among the investigative projects he oversaw was the Mirage Tavern series, for which the paper clandestinely opened a bar to expose inappropriate regulatory behavior by city officials.

“‘He was a terrific editor and, philosophically, he was a man of great and consistent character about, shall we say, fake news and other such things that you have to deal with from time to time or pressures from some people who didn’t like what we were reporting,’ said former Sun-Times Publisher Jim Hoge, who oversaw Otwell. ‘And we did a lot of investigative reporting.’

“Otwell, 90, died of heart failure March 8 while in hospice care at Evanston Northwestern Hospital, said his son, Brian. He had been a longtime resident of Evanston.

“Born Ralph Maurice Otwell and raised in Hot Springs, Ark., Otwell took an early interest in journalism, writing articles from the age of 16 for the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record newspaper. He served in the Army from 1944 until 1947.

“After attending the University of Arkansas from 1947 until 1948, Otwell transferred to Northwestern University, from which he graduated in 1951. Otwell then returned to active military duty and was the editor of the Pacific edition of the Army’s Stars & Stripes newspaper.

“Otwell took a job with the Sun-Times in 1953 as a copy editor. He was named assistant city editor in 1957, news editor in 1960, assistant managing editor for weekend news in 1963 and assistant to the editor in 1965.

“In 1968, Otwell was named the Sun-Times’ managing editor, and he was elevated to editor in late 1976. On Otwell’s watch, the Sun-Times won six Pulitzer Prizes. The paper also published the 25-part Mirage Tavern series in 1978, which employed hidden cameras to detail the way that establishments were shaken down by state and local officials.

“‘He was a newsman through and through,’ said University of Illinois Springfield professor and public affairs reporting program director Charles N. Wheeler III, whom Otwell hired in 1969 as a reporter. ‘He “was a mentor for me and a guide, and someone I always looked up to. He was everything you’d look for in a newspaper person.’

“Otwell had confidence in Wheeler in his coverage of the state constitutional convention in 1970, and not long after Otwell gave Wheeler a permanent posting in Springfield, even though Wheeler was still relatively new.

“‘Ralph was absolutely essential in checking my judgment and coming up with his own, and then running on the floor anything as big as a major investigation,’ Hoge said. ‘He was my safety valve, if you will, to know that if Ralph kept up on it, you were in good shape. And he was a man of real convictions and real beliefs that journalism was an important factor in a democratic society, and he ran the newsroom that way.’

“Otwell was a Pulitzer Prize juror and, in 1973, served as the president of the national Society of Professional Journalists.

“In 1984, Field Enterprises sold the Sun-Times to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The sale caused much hand-wringing among local journalists, who feared — correctly, as it turned out — that the tabloid would take a more sensational approach. Otwell and Hoge were among the most prominent individuals to resign from the Sun-Times in the wake of the sale, along with several business executives and columnist Mike Royko.

“Otwell’s exit from the Sun-Times in his late 50s turned into a retirement of sorts, although he remained busy, his son said. He mulled starting a new daily newspaper in Chicago, and became very involved with Northwestern University’s Institute for Learning in Retirement, which now is known as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Otwell taught several subjects at the institute, and also was involved as a student.

“Otwell also had a longtime interest in editorial cartoons. He was an editor with the Sun-Times in 1963 when legendary cartoonist Bill Mauldin drew his best-known cartoon, Abraham Lincoln weeping after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. After publication, Otwell rescued the original printing plate of the cartoon from a trash bin. He later displayed the printing plate on his wall and loaned it out to a museum, his son said.

“Otwell’s wife, Janet, led the Illinois Department on Aging in the 1980s. She died in February 2015.

“Otwell is survived by two other sons, Douglas and David; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

“A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, at Alice Millar Chapel on the Northwestern University campus, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston.”

Back to Top


Bill Murphy

William Aubrey “Bill” Murphy, chief financial officer for Stars and Stripes and a member of the town council in Dumfries, Va., died Feb. 3 at his home. He was 56.

Murphy came to Stars and Stripes in 1997 and was promoted to CFO in 2012.

“Bill believed strongly in the mission to provide servicemen and women around the world with independent news and information,” said Stars and Stripes Publisher Max Lederer. “His dedicated service was essential to successfully entertaining and informing the military community. Bill was a gentleman, a dedicated manager, committed to everything he did. He made a difference in all the lives he touched.”

Murphy was born Sept. 26, 1960, in Clinton, N.Y. He attended Mohawk Valley Community College and graduated in 1980 with an associate’s degree. He went on to graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. While there, he was governor of residence halls and played varsity ice hockey.

Murphy was very active in his local community, serving on the Dumfries Board of Zoning Appeals for five years before being appointed to the town council two years ago. He was also an usher at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Triangle, Va.

Friends remember Murphy for his devotion to community service and volunteering. He was passionate about hockey, loved grilling outdoors and was devoted to his longtime companion, Mylien Nguyen of Annandale, Va., and his dog, Lexi.

Stars and Stripes staff members were quick to recall him fondly.

Marie Woods, director of publishing and media design, worked with Murphy for the last 18 years.

“He was a good soul, generous and thoughtful to everyone he knew. I’m grateful for having had the opportunity to know him and count him among my closest friends. I will truly miss him.”

He was a valued resource to many.

“For newcomers like me, Bill was a one-stop shop for information on how to wade through the rules and regulations of the U.S. government and for translating ‘GovSpeak’ into clear English,” said Robert Reid, senior managing editor of Stars and Stripes. “He always did so with a smile.” 

Corey Henderson, a Stars and Stripes multimedia consultant, called Murphy “an important leader in our professional family.”

“He worked hard to make sure that our organization maintained solid stewardship of the funds that support our servicemembers and their family members.”

Murphy was also known for his warm nature and sense of humor. Meg Irish, director of member services, recalled that “early in my time with Stripes, Bill arrived in my office to distribute our pay documents and I said, ‘Oh, look! It’s the Paycheck Fairy!’ And without missing a beat or cracking a smile, Bill drew himself up and replied, ‘Please! The correct term is Finance Ranger.’ I’ve thought of him as our Finance Ranger ever since.”

Chris Carlson, Stars and Stripes publishing and media design manager, said Murphy was respected for the work he did. “But most importantly, he was just a great guy. He will be missed.”

Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. Feb. 12 at Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service in Clinton, N.Y. A funeral Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 13 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Clinton.

A memorial service will be from 3-4 p.m. Feb. 24 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 18825 Fuller Heights Rd., Triangle, Va.,  followed by a reception in his honor at the Dumfries Triangle Rescue Squad Bingo Hall, 3800 Graham Park Rd., Dumfries, Va.

Back to Top

Bill McNamara

William “Bill” McNamara, LCOL US Army (Ret.), passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 4, 2016 surrounded by his family at his home.  Bill was married 49 years to the late Pauline M. Catalano McNamara.  He is survived by their three daughters, Mary Martha McNamara (Robert L’Heureux), Kathleen A. McNamara (Quinn Sinnott) and Maureen McNamara, and by his grandchildren, Brinn (Krista Olex), Corinn, Devinn, and Erinn Sinnott, Martin, Robert, and Christian L’Heureux.    

Bill was a famous member of the WWII Stars and Stripes staff writing the Stripes DDay Invasion plan and being one of the first Americans to arrive in Paris. Bill continued to be a frequent participant in Stripes’ reunion events. His obituary will be included in the next newsletter.

The visitation will be on Sunday June 19th from 1 PM to 4 PM at Everly-Wheatley funeral Home 1500 west Braddock Road Alexandria, Va 223302. There will be an American Legion ceremony at 3 PM.

The funeral mass will be held at St Mary Catholic Church 310 South Royal Street Alexandria, VA on Monday June 20 at 10:30 AM followed by a reception at Gadsby Tavern 134 North Royal Street Alexandria, VA (Large Ballroom with entrance on Cameron street).

Burial services were held at Arlington Cemetery on Tuesday, November 22, 2016.

service1 service2 service3 service4 service5 service6 service7

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, MT 59004 or a charity of your choice. 

Back to Top

Jack Fuller, ex-Tribune editor and publisher, dies at 69

Jack Fuller

By Manya Brachear Pashman Contact Reporter
Chicago Tribune

When former editor and publisher Jack Fuller stepped down from his post as president of Tribune Co.'s publishing division in 2004, reporters and editors at the Chicago Tribune declared it the end of an era.

At the time, the Pulitzer Prize winner was the only Tribune corporate executive with a journalism pedigree. He had spent most of his 40-year journalism career at the Tribune, starting as a copy boy at 16 and eventually rising to the helm of the newsroom and later the company's entire publishing operation.

As president of Tribune Publishing, Fuller shepherded the acquisition of Times Mirror Co. — one of the largest acquisitions in newspaper history. At the heart of the deal was Fuller's perennial commitment to quality journalism.

"Newspapers grow out of the soil of the community," Fuller wrote in his book "News Values: Ideas for an Information Age," published in 1996. Whether in print or online, the newspaper needs "to have a distinctive voice that relates well to the community it serves."

Fuller, 69, died Tuesday in his Chicago home. He was diagnosed several months ago with cancer.

Born in Chicago, Fuller followed his financial reporter father into the newsroom, working as a copy boy and later earning a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University in 1968.

From there, he headed to Yale Law School but was drafted into the Army, serving as a Vietnam correspondent for Pacific Stars and Stripes in 1969 and 1970. He spent the summer of 1972 writing for the Washington Post.

After earning his law degree from Yale in 1973, Fuller returned to Chicago to resume his journalism career. But after two years as a general assignment reporter at the Tribune, he left the paper to join the U.S. Department of Justice as special assistant to then-Attorney General Edward Levi. He rejoined the Tribune as a Washington correspondent in 1977 and returned to the Tribune Tower in Chicago in 1978 as an editorial writer.

Appointed editorial page editor in 1981, he won a Pulitzer Prize five years later for editorials focused primarily on constitutional law. He was named executive editor, second-in-command of the newsroom, in 1987 and promoted two years later to vice president and editor. Colleagues recall Fuller's soft-spoken, intellectual demeanor and professorial style. For many years, he sported a beard and wore a beret. When he started wearing glasses, he perched them on the bridge of his nose. He even occasionally smoked a pipe.

"Jack was one of the most brilliant writers, editors and newsroom leaders I've known. He had a profound impact on me and many other people at the Tribune. He taught us to be aggressive, fearless and ethical," said Bruce Dold, now editor and publisher of the newspaper.

Former top editor Ann Marie Lipinski, who now runs the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, remembers the day Fuller asked her to leave her job heading the investigative team to become metro editor. He had a way of stoking ambition, she said.

"He saw in me abilities and demanded from me responsibilities before I was prepared to see those things and demand those things of myself," Lipinski said.

At the newsroom's helm, Fuller's writing shifted to novels and occasional jazz reviews. In addition to promoting Lipinski and many others, he recognized the talents of a young writer, editor and trained musician named Howard Reich and chose him to be a staff jazz critic, a position Reich still holds.

A trombone player, pianist and jazz aficionado, Fuller believed it was crucial for the Tribune — located in a city that's a hub for jazz — to have someone dedicated to covering that music and the culture surrounding it, Reich said.

When Fuller joined the Pulitzer board in 1992, he launched a personal crusade to redefine the rules of the music category — long dominated by classical compositions, Reich said. Jazz entries trickled in as the board made it clear that a musical entry could include improvisational elements. In 1997, trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis became the first musician to win the prize for a jazz composition — after the board had put Reich and other jazz experts on the jury.

"Jazz is America's classical music, and he wanted the world to know that," Reich said.

In 1993, Fuller was named president and CEO of the Chicago Tribune and became publisher a year later. With Fuller's support, the Tribune was one of the first newspapers to enter the digital age — making internet access available in the newsroom and launching one of the first online editions, said Howard Tyner, Fuller's successor as editor.

"Chicago Tribune was recognized and criticized in many quarters for being the first major paper to take the internet and multimedia seriously," Tyner said. "It was a rational futuristic approach to journalism, and Jack easily could have tamped that down, as I think senior folks at other newspaper companies were doing."

In 1997, Fuller rose to lead the company's five daily newspapers and syndicated content.

Lipinski said Fuller's journalistic integrity made him a master translator for his corporate colleagues in the boardroom who might not understand how a newsroom operates. Both Lipinski and Tyner said that made people want to work for him.

"There was this fundamental trust," Lipinski said. "To have his hand at your back and to know that he had faith in you, but also to know you had these shared values about what a newspaper was there to do, was the most inspiring and exhilarating feeling I've ever had as a journalist."

Fuller's tenure at the Tribune was a high-water mark for women in the company and the industry, Lipinski said. In addition to promoting female editors in the newsroom, Fuller later appointed female publishers at four of the chain's papers.

He insisted it had nothing to do with political correctness or a quest for equality.

"You want the best people," he once said. "That means you don't take from 50 percent of the talent pool."

In 2000, Fuller played a central role in expanding the Tribune empire. With an eye to attracting national advertisers to purchase across television, print and online platforms, the acquisition of Times Mirror Co. added 10 newspapers and their websites, including the Los Angeles Times.

The family with the largest stake in the LA Times reportedly would not have sold had it not been for Fuller's credibility as a journalist.

"Being bigger and having a bigger footprint makes us more able to control our fate," he said at the time.

But shortly after the Times Mirror acquisition, the media industry encountered one of its worst advertising recessions. Online pressure also grew more intense. In the months preceding Fuller's retirement, the company had to compensate advertisers for inflated circulation figures at Newsday and the New York edition of Hoy, the company's Spanish-language newspaper.

Fuller insisted that his departure had long been planned and had nothing to do with the circulation scandal; he simply missed writing.

He continued to write opinion pieces for the Tribune, novels and other books. His eighth novel, "One From Without," came out this month.

Fuller is a past president of the Inter American Press Association, which works to monitor and safeguard freedom of expression in the Western Hemisphere. He also served on the board of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and was a trustee of the University of Chicago.

He is survived by his wife, Debra Moskovits, and two children from a previous marriage, son Timothy and daughter Katherine Ryan. A memorial service is being planned.

Back to Top

Former Daily News city editor Judi Erickson dies at 53

By Gregory J. Wilcox, Los Angeles Daily News

Judi Erickson, the former city editor of the Los Angeles Daily News who went on to help start a regional business alliance, has died. She was 53.

She died overnight Wednesday at her home in Marion, Kentucky, said former Daily News publisher Tracy Hernandez, the founding CEO of the Los Angeles County Business Federation, an alliance of business groups.

“It just rocked my world,” Hernandez said. “I got the call from Cliff, Judi’s dad (Thursday) morning. I could hardly take in what he was saying. This is just super sad news.”

Erickson, a veteran journalist, was hired as the newspaper’s assistant city editor in August of 2005 and was promoted to city editor in September of 2007.

A year later Hernandez asked Erickson if she would join her and long-time San Fernando Valley Civic leader David Fleming in starting the federation. Erickson jumped at the chance.

“She was a brave soul,” Hernandez recalled. “I said, ‘Judi, lets go do this thing,’ and she said ‘all right’.”

Today the group consists of 164 business organizations.

“She was like the Google of BizFed,” Hernandez added. “She had a memory like an elephant and kept precise records. She was such a vital part of our work.”

Erickson was the group’s first hire, Fleming said.

“Judi was fantastic. She really helped me and Tracy build BizFed. It’s just unbelievable,” he said of Erickson’s death. “I know how he (Cliff) feels. I lost a son who was only 35. Parents shouldn’t be burying their children.”

Erickson left BizFed in 2014 and went back to Kentucky to take care of her father, Cliff Erickson, who lives about three miles from her house in Sturgis. They texted each other every morning and when his daughter did not respond Wednesday he went over and found her in bed.

Before joining the newspaper, Erickson worked for the military publication Stars and Stripes and as a business editor for The Honolulu Advertiser for five years.

For a while she lived in a house on the side of Mount Tantalus on Oʻahu.

“She loved that part of her life. She could sit on her porch and look down on the coast. It was very pretty,” Cliff Erickson said. “And she was an animal lover. She loved animals more than people.”

A family celebration of her life will be held at a later time, he said.

Her final email to colleagues at the paper consisted of quotes she heard reporters utter in the newsroom. She signed off on Sept. 27, 2008 with the following line:

“Vaya Con Dios. It’s been a great journey. But it’s never over.......Judi Erickson.”

She is survived by her father and step mother, Donna Erickson.

Back to Top

Hal Foster, former Stars and Stripes senior editor and longtime journalism professor, dies at 75

Hal Foster


Hal Foster, a media professor at the University of Idaho who worked as a senior editor at Stars and Stripes in the 1980s, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Coeur d’Alene. He was 75.

The Miami native worked at for Stars and Stripes Pacific in Tokyo from 1979-86 as a news editor and executive editor.

He later was assistant managing editor at the Asahi Evening News in Tokyo, a business writer and editor at the Los Angeles Times and a special correspondent for USA Today covering the war in Ukraine.

While with Stars and Stripes, Foster helped hire a young editorial staff of mostly 20-something editors and reporters. Among them was Shelley Smith, out of the University of Nebraska, who went on to jobs at the San Francisco Chronicle and Sports Illustrated. She is now an on-air reporter for ESPN.

"I am sure if it weren’t for Hal bringing me to Stars and Stripes and Tokyo all those decades ago, my life would be completely different now," Brad Lendon, hired at Stars and Stripes by Foster in 1982, said in a Facebook post Friday. Lendon went on to work for CNN in Atlanta and Hong Kong.

Foster earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Nebraska, a master’s in journalism from Ohio State and a Ph.D in journalism and mass communication from North Carolina. He taught journalism and international relations at five universities in the United States, the American University in Moldova and two universities each in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the latter where he was a Fulbright professor.

Foster is survived by his children Angela, 48, and Dan, 47, and two grandchildren. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Freedom Forum Institute, which champions First Amendment rights and protects journalism and journalists.

A memorial for Foster has been put on hold until coronavirus concerns subside, Angela Foster said.

Back to Top

G.K. Hodenfield at Pointe du Hoc

By Marc Lancaster, WWII on Deadline

One of the countless security concerns addressed by the men who planned Operation Overlord involved press correspondents. SHAEF feared that the sudden disappearance of numerous London-based reporters at once might signal to the Germans that invasion was imminent. Their solution was to enact what amounted to a series of dry runs, in which correspondents were phoned and told to report to this or that location in England on short notice throughout the spring. It became part of the routine.

Lt. G.K. Hodenfield of Stars and Stripes showed up on the south coast following one of those calls and wearily asked the colonel in charge where they were headed for their latest training run. The colonel raised an eyebrow and pointed to a spot on a map, but Hodenfield couldn't place it.

"Colonel, I know the south coast of England, but I can't figure it out," he is said to have remarked. "Where is the landing in relation to, say, Plymouth or Bournemouth?"

"Hod," the colonel answered, "that's not the coast of England."

So it was that Hodenfield, born Sept. 29, 1915, embarked on one of the most harrowing assignments of any correspondent covering D-Day: accompanying the 2nd Ranger Battalion in scaling the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc.

It took several days for Hodenfield to get his report back to Stars and Stripes' London office, and his eyewitness account was finally printed in the June 12 edition. The story covers the Rangers' first two and a half days on the ground in France.

"At H-hour the LCAs touched down and the Rangers scrambled ashore," Hodenfield wrote. "German machine-gunners and snipers opened up, but the men started scaling the 100-foot cliffs as if this were just another maneuver. The Germans on top rolled hand grenades down the slopes, they tried to cut toggle lines, they threw everything they had at those men coming at them -- but they didn't stop them. In little groups of twos and threes they scrambled over the top and went to work."

His initial story was relatively straightforward, but Hodenfield opened the curtain on the human drama of the day decades later. Writing for the Associated Press in 1984, he shared this scene:

You make friends quickly in combat, and lose them just as quickly. I had spent much of the trip in the LCA kidding with a Ranger who said he would never understand why a reporter , who really didn't have to, would go along on what was certain to be a suicide mission for about half the Rangers.

He was a great guy, and I wish I had learned his name. Shortly after our LCA turned west and headed for Pointe du Hoc, a German rifleman on the cliffs shot him through the head. He toppled over quietly at my feet.

Hodenfield made it through the operation unscathed and was awarded a Bronze Star for his work in covering the story.

He later spent more than 20 years at the AP, finding a niche covering education, and later worked for the Indiana University News Bureau. He died in 1992 at age 76.

Back to Top

Hal Foster, former Stars and Stripes senior editor and longtime journalism professor, dies at 75

Hal Foster


Hal Foster, a media professor at the University of Idaho who worked as a senior editor at Stars and Stripes in the 1980s, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Coeur d’Alene. He was 75.

The Miami native worked at for Stars and Stripes Pacific in Tokyo from 1979-86 as a news editor and executive editor.

He later was assistant managing editor at the Asahi Evening News in Tokyo, a business writer and editor at the Los Angeles Times and a special correspondent for USA Today covering the war in Ukraine.

While with Stars and Stripes, Foster helped hire a young editorial staff of mostly 20-something editors and reporters. Among them was Shelley Smith, out of the University of Nebraska, who went on to jobs at the San Francisco Chronicle and Sports Illustrated. She is now an on-air reporter for ESPN.

"I am sure if it weren’t for Hal bringing me to Stars and Stripes and Tokyo all those decades ago, my life would be completely different now," Brad Lendon, hired at Stars and Stripes by Foster in 1982, said in a Facebook post Friday. Lendon went on to work for CNN in Atlanta and Hong Kong.

Foster earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Nebraska, a master’s in journalism from Ohio State and a Ph.D in journalism and mass communication from North Carolina. He taught journalism and international relations at five universities in the United States, the American University in Moldova and two universities each in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the latter where he was a Fulbright professor.

Foster is survived by his children Angela, 48, and Dan, 47, and two grandchildren. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Freedom Forum Institute, which champions First Amendment rights and protects journalism and journalists.

A memorial for Foster has been put on hold until coronavirus concerns subside, Angela Foster said.

Back to Top

Bob Reismann

Robert (Bob) Werner Reismann's career with Stars and Stripes started in Europe, but with troop movement to Iraq in 2003, his talents were needed in combat outposts stretching from Baghdad to Fallujah and Mosul. Bob eventually became the point man in the Middle East which required him to venture into not only Iraq but Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and parts of Africa.

The memorial service of Bob held at the Daenner chapel in Kaiserslautern on 30 September 2021.

Memorial Program with Obituary

Back to Top

Mike Mealey

Michael Palmer Mealey, age 81, passed away on December 29, 2021, in Park City, Utah. He was born on May 16, 1940, in Oakland, California to Thomas R and Patricia Mealey. He married Judith Seaverns on May 14, 1970.

Mike was an avid skier, golfer, and world traveler. He also held many respected positions throughout his life, including serving in the U.S. Army (where he was awarded the Bronze Star), co-founder and President of Mealey Publications, Inc., being named Publisher of the Year by the National Newsletter Association, presiding as President of the National Newsletter Association and Stars and Stripes Alumni Association, serving as President over the Board of Trustees at the Academy of Notre Dame de Namur in Villanova, Pennsylvania, and serving as a board member at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah.

Mike is survived by his wife, Judith, his daughter Elizabeth (John) Yocum, his sisters, Pam Gillotti and Barbara Mealey, and his granddaughters, Amanda Yocum and Samantha Yocum. He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas R and Patricia Mealey, and his brother, Timothy Mealey.

There will be a Celebration of Mike held on Monday, January 17, 2022, from 4-7 PM at the Stein Eriksen Lodge, 7700 Stein Way, Park City, UT 84060. Another Celebration of Mike’s Life will be held in Pennsylvania in the Spring of 2022 (details still pending).

Back to Top


Vietnam50 is in the second year of publishing the Vietnam@50 reflections The content is updated each year featuring the significant events that occurred during the year of that conflict.

One of the sections is “my experience.” This is designed to allow veterans the opportunity to express their experience, how it change their lives and other reflections. Terry Leonard the Editor and Max Lederer the Publisher believe that the experiences of former Stripes’ staff from the Vietnam era would enrich this section .

Also the six word project in the voices of Vietnam section is another location former Stripes Vietnam era staff can express their impressions

Please be a Stripes contributor again.

Back to Top


Listen to how Stars and Stripes has changed over the years in this panel discussion.

Ed Vebell on the Nuremberg trials:

Ed Vebell on Bill Mauldin:

Red Grandy and the 1953 presidential inauguration:

Videos on the history of Stars and Stripes:

Back to Top

Visit the Stars and Stripes Museum website.