Jack Nelson, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, dies at 80; journalist helped raise L.A. Times to national prominence
Jack Nelson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, author and longtime Washington bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, whose hard-nosed coverage of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and the Watergate scandal in the 1970s helped establish the paper's national reputation, has died. He was 80.
Nelson died today at his home in Bethesda, Md., of pancreatic cancer.
"Jack finally slipped away a couple of hours ago," his wife, journalist Barbara Matusow, said in an e-mail to friends.
Nelson was recruited from the Atlanta Constitution in 1965 as part of publisher Otis Chandler’s effort to transform The Times into one of the country's foremost dailies. An aggressive reporter who had exposed abuses at Georgia's biggest mental institution, Nelson went on to break major stories on the civil rights movement for The Times, particularly in his coverage of the shooting of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo and the massacre of black students at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg.