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Subject: Neale Copple, journalist, WWII veteran

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Date Posted: March 24, 2003 6:42:42 EDT

Neale Copple, 79, who headed the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's journalism department for more than 20 years, March 18 in Lincoln of cancer of the connective tissues.

Copple was director of the School of Journalism from 1966 until 1979. When the school became an independent college, he spent 11 years as dean.

Copple served in the Army Air Forces as a lead bombardier during World War II and flew in 29 missions over Germany.

He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1947 with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and earned a master's from Northwestern University in 1948.

Copple returned to Nebraska and worked at the Lincoln Journal from 1951 until 1959. As city editor, he organized the reporters covering Charles Starkweather's 1958 killing spree that killed 11 people. His involvement earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

Copple began teaching journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1957, and left the Journal two years later to teach full time.

In 1966, Copple became director of the school, which was part of the College of Arts and Sciences and helped the school grow into a freestanding college.

After retiring as dean in 1990, Copple served as special assistant to the chancellor and consultant to the university president until 1993.

Survivors include his wife and two children.

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