David Halberstam, journalist, dies

Remembering David Halberstam

The Harvard graduate who went from Cambridge to Mississippi to cover the great domestic story of the time became one of the earliest and most important journalists to chronicle the great foreign story of the age: Vietnam, where, in the pages of The New York Times, Halberstam insisted on reporting what he saw happening,not what the government said was happening.

John Meacham, Newsweek

Journalist, author and historian David Halberstam has been killed in a car crash. Halberstam celebrated his 73rd birthday two weeks ago.

A Harvard journalism grad, Halberstam first made his mark at The Tennessean in Nashville during the Civic Rights era and was a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Halberstam was my journalistic hero. He was a wonderful observer who wrote early-on about the Civil Rights Movement. Halberstam, for instance,was one of few journalists who stayed in the Delta after the Milam-Bryant trial to report on the murder of Clinton Melton.

When researching Rebels Roost;Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited, I ran into his account of the Elmer Kimball trial and was blown away by his humorous style — not quite what I’d expected in 1956.

(Here’s a link to the chapter in Rebel’s Roost that quotes Halberstam.)