John S. Carroll, a former editor of The Baltimore Sun and The Los Angeles Times, which he led to 13 Pulitzer Prizes in his short tenure — has died at age 73.
The LA Times describes Carroll as “a courageous editor [who had an] instinct for the big story and unrelenting focus” said he died today in Lexington, Ky., of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, a degenerative brain disease.
In his long career, Carroll also spent time at The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lexington Herald-Leader and The Baltimore Sun.
He joined the Sun as a reporter and covered the Vietnam War for the newspaper. Later, during his time as the paper’s editor, it “won two Pulitzer Prizes for an investigation into the dangers of shipbreaking and a series about a major league umpire’s children who were dying of a genetic disease,” according to the Sun.
“For a publisher, John was a dream to work with, always trying to improve the paper,” Michael E. Waller, publisher of the Sun from 1997 to 2002, was quoted by the newspaper as saying. “He was a genius at spotting small stories that he thought might hide bigger truths. He’d assign a reporter to check it out and often would wind up with a significant investigative project, such as the dangerous ship-salvaging business.”
The 13 Pultizers the Times won in his five years there compare to a total of eight won by the paper in the whole of the 1990s.
According to The Associated Press, his departure at the LA Times “came amid increasing tensions over newsroom budget cuts and the paper’s direction with corporate owner, the Tribune Company.”
“He received a standing ovation from the staff when he announced his resignation, and the Times’ then-publisher Jeff Johnson told The Associated Press that Carroll left behind an ‘extraordinary legacy of journalistic excellence.’ ”