Edwin Guthman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was on the infamous “enemies list” prepared by aides of President Richard Nixon and who served as press secretary to Robert F. Kennedy, has died at 89.
Guthman, who had amyloidosis, a rare disease, died Sunday at his Pacific Palisades home, said Bryce Nelson, a family spokesman.
“Ed Guthman was not only a great friend, but a great journalist,” Paul Conrad, a longtime political cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times, said Monday. “He was the only person I ever tore up a cartoon for.”
Guthman was the Los Angeles Times' national editor from 1965 to 1977, then served for a decade as editorial page editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1950 for his stories in The Seattle Times on the Washington Legislature's Un-American Activities Committee. His reporting cleared a University of Washington professor of allegations that he was a Communist supporter.
Guthman was press secretary for Attorney General and later Sen. Robert F. Kennedy from 1961 to 1965.
A Kennedy loyalist in his private life, Guthman wrote or edited four books about Kennedy. And he always wore a tie clip that President John Kennedy had given him, according to the USC Annenberg School for Communication.
In 1971, Guthman was one of 20 singled out for harassment in a memo sent from Nixon aide Charles Colson to aide John Dean. The memo said Guthman, then the national editor for the Times, was “a highly sophisticated hatchet man against us in '68.”
He was a journalism professor and senior lecturer at the University of Southern California from 1987 until his retirement last year.
Born Aug. 11, 1919, in Seattle, Guthman was drafted in World War II. He was wounded, and received the Purple Heart and the Silver Star.
Guthman is survived by three sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.