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Subject: Herb Kamm, distinguished journalist

dies at 85
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Date Posted: September 25, 2002 9:52:53 EDT

Herb Kamm, a former newspaper editor in New York and Cleveland who covered events ranging from the funeral of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the World Series, died Wednesday.

Kamm, who had been diagnosed with leukemia just eight days earlier, died at his home on California's central coast.

Kamm worked for organizations from the New York World Journal Tribune to the Cleveland Press to The Associated Press during a journalism career that spanned more than half a century.

After leaving newspaper management, Kamm became an influential teacher and mentor at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and wrote editorials for The Tribune newspaper there while serving on its editorial board.

Throughout his career, Kamm had relentless energy for his work and an ability to relate to everyone who worked for him, said Louis D. Boccardi, president and chief executive officer of The Associated Press.

"His mind raced constantly to the next story, the next peg, the next development, always finding the next plateau," said Boccardi, who once worked for Kamm. "Wherever he went - New York, Cleveland, then California - he got to know everybody. That was his way."

Kamm was executive editor of the New York World Journal Tribune from 1966 to 1967. When that paper folded, he became an editorial consultant for the Scripps Howard Newspapers group.

He joined the Cleveland Press in 1969, serving as an associate editor and editorial-page editor before being named editor in January 1980. He stepped down two years later after reaching retirement age, but continued to write a column until the paper folded in June 1982.

He later served as editorial director at WJKW-TV, a CBS affiliate in Cleveland.

Kamm began his career at age 17, covering sports for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. He worked for The Associated Press in Newark, N.J., then in 1943 went to work for the New York World-Telegram & Sun, becoming managing editor in 1963.

That paper merged with the New York Herald Tribune and Journal-American to become the New York World Journal Tribune.

Many things about the media have changed since then, Kamm said in a 2001 interview, but one thing remains true: "Whether you write or broadcast, the name of the game is to get the facts, get them straight and transmit them to the reader, listener and viewer in language that has color and style."

Kamm was born in 1917 in Long Branch, N.J. He is survived by his wife Phyllis, their three sons, six grandchildren and one great grandson.

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