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Subject: Jay Reed, Journalist Who Covered Vietnam, Wrote About Hunting and Fishing

Dies at 73
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Date Posted: November 10, 2002 1:36:38 EDT

Jay Reed, an ex-Marine and journalist who brought his love of the outdoors to newspaper readers for nearly 40 years, died of lung and bone cancer. He was 73.

Reed, hired by The Milwaukee Journal in 1963, continued writing his columns for the newspaper, now the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as long as his health permitted.

In addition to writing about hunting and fishing, Reed covered the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968, becoming a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. He returned to Vietnam in 1989, writing a series that again made him a Pulitzer finalist.

Reed spent his last days at St. Mary's hospice, where he died Friday with family and friends at his side.

One of his dogs, a yellow Labrador retriever named Maggie, was brought to the hospice his final night.

"I don't really know if he realized it was her head in his hand," his wife Christine said.

Jay Reed grew up in western Wisconsin and joined the Marine Corps during World War II, lying about his age because he was only 15.

He later worked in an iron foundry and as a hotel bartender before getting a job as a reporter. He was recalled to the service in the Korean War and then held other writing jobs before joining The Journal.

Over the years, he traveled the world on various assignments, while also introducing readers to something as personal as his most beloved yellow Lab, Thor.

"Not only was he an outstanding outdoor writer, he was one of the finest writers in the history of the newspaper," said Martin Kaiser, editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"He was the kind of writer and columnist who cannot be replaced."

In addition to his wife, survivors include nieces, nephews and other relatives.

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