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Jack Nelson

AKA Jack Howard Nelson

Born: 11-Oct-1929
Birthplace: Talladega, AL
Died: 21-Oct-2009
Location of death: Bethesda, MD
Cause of death: Cancer - Pancreatic

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Journalist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Los Angeles Times

Military service: US Army (1951-52)

As reporter for the Atlanta Constitution, Jack Nelson won a Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1960 for his coverage of a mismanaged state mental asylum in Milledgeville, Georgia. Among the abuses documented were experimentation without consent of patients, nurses performing surgery, and rampant drug and alcohol abuse by staff. Los Angeles Times editor Otis Chandler hired Nelson in 1965 as part of his plan to turn the newspaper into a major force in national affairs. Until this point, the civil rights movement had received scant notice by the paper, and Nelson, still based in Atlanta, covered it with vigor. In 1970 he transferred to the Washington Bureau, and two years later received the scoop of a lifetime. He managed to get Alfred C. Baldwin III, a former FBI agent and operative hired by the White House, to give a five-hour interview regarding his involvement in the Watergate break-in. Baldwin revealed an extensive pattern of dirty tricks which were clearly at the behest of the White House itself, and most importantly, the entire interview was on the record. Judge John Sirica issued a gag order to halt publication which was soon overturned by the US Supreme Court, and on 5 October 1972 the Times ran the Baldwin material on page one. Subsequently, Nelson became head of the Washington Bureau for the next twenty-one years, and remaining a correspondent until 2001. He died in 2009 from the effects of pancreatic cancer.

Wife: Virginia Dickinson (one daughter, two sons)
Daughter: Karen
Son: John Michael Nelson ("Mike")
Son: Steven
Wife: Barbara Matusow

    High School: Notre Dame High School, Biloxi, MS (1947)
    University: Georgia State College (attended briefly)

    The Los Angeles Times Chief Washington Correspondent (1995-2001)
    The Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief (1975-95)
    The Los Angeles Times Reporter, Washington Bureau (1970-75)
    The Los Angeles Times Atlanta Bureau (1965-70)
    The Atlanta Constitution (1952-65)
    Biloxi Daily Herald Reporter (1947-51)
    Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
    Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting (1960)

Author of books:
The Censors and the Schools (1963, with Gene Roberts, Jr.)
The Orangeburg Massacre (1970, with Jack Bass)
The FBI and the Berrigans (1972, with Ronald J. Ostrow)
High School Journalism in America (1974)
Terror in the Night: The Klan's Campaign Against the Jews (1993)

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