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Wed., Sept. 15, 2010, 12:28 p.m.

Obituary for Edwin Newman…

Jerry Mosey -- Associated Press
Jerry Mosey -- Associated Press

Good afternoon, Netizens...

The world has lost a fastidious grammarian as well as an award-winning news broadcaster as Edwin Newman has passed away yesterday.

Newman died peacefully of pneumonia Aug. 13 in Oxford, England, his lawyer Rupert Mead told Reuters. His wife and daughter wanted to wait before announcing his death to come to terms with the loss, Mead said.

Newman was regarded as a master journalist -- a newsman, a commentator and an esteemed critic. He received the George Foster Peabody Award in 1966 for "wit and depth of understanding" for his radio news broadcasts.

After earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1940, Newman joined the Navy and upon discharge in 1945, he worked at a variety of journalistic posts, highlighted by a period of learning under Eric Sevareid at CBS' Washington bureau.

An enthusiastic grammarian, Newman also chaired the usage panel of American Heritage Dictionary. He wrote four books on language, including "Strictly Speaking, Will America Be the Death of English? (1984), "A Civil Tongue" (1976) and "I Must Say" (1989).

A story attributed to him by NPR states, "I remember when the bulletin came on the AP wire that Spiro Agnew had resigned as vice president. I ran to the announcer's booth. There was an American League playoff game on. Whoever was in charge of operations control wanted me to wait until the end of the inning. I said, 'The next time the pitcher delivers the pitch and you see the ball in the catcher's mitt, switch to me and I'll be off before the pitcher throws another ball.'"

We are slowly, inexorably losing the great voices of news, one by one. Rest in Peace...


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.