Magazine article Nieman Reports

"A Great Editor and a Great Friend": William Marimow, NF '83, Looks Back on the Storied Career of Fellow Nieman John Carroll

Magazine article Nieman Reports

"A Great Editor and a Great Friend": William Marimow, NF '83, Looks Back on the Storied Career of Fellow Nieman John Carroll

Article excerpt

John Carroll, NF '72, one of the country's most influential journalists, died in Kentucky on June 14, 2015 at the age of 73. As editor at the Los Angeles Times from 2000 to 2005, he oversaw the paper's record acquisition of 13 Pulitzer Prizes in just five years. While leading the paper, he focused on investigative reporting and beat coverage. Carroll joined the Times after a distinguished career at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Kentucky's Lexington Herald-Leader, and The Baltimore Sun.

John Carroll was a great editor and a great friend. During the seven years we worked together at The Baltimore Sun, we talked every day--seven days a week, 52 weeks a year--so I witnessed John's brilliance firsthand. His genteel, quiet demeanor in many ways belied his intense interest in great stories and his determination to make sure that when the stories reached print, they were written with fluidity and packed the maximum impact.

One of John's great skills was his ability to see the forest when the rest of us were still wandering in the trees. A classic case in point was the Sun's story on the hazards of shipbreaking, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1998. Our maritime reporter, Will Englund, had written a story about the activities along Baltimore's waterways and observed the dismantling for scrap of the Coral Sea, a World War II vintage aircraft carrier. Englund said the work looked dangerous, and that the asbestos-laden ship might also be harmful to the Patapsco River. …

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