I woke up this morning to find out that my cousin, Helen Dewar, formerly of the Washington post, died yesterday at the age of 70.. Although I knew she was ill, and would call her 2-3 times a week to talk to her about her work, and about the latest campaign trail gossip, lately it seemed like she was getting a little bit better, health-wise so it was a bit of a shock to open up the Post and read this.
Earlier this year, I wrote a short tribute to Helen when she got an award from the Washington Press Club, which had some info about her life’s work.
She was a great person, who accomplished a lot in her life, and had a sense of fairness, accuracy and integrity for her work that I find sorely lacking in today’s media. It was an honor to know her and learn from her the insider’s guide to US congressional history. She will be missed by good folks in DC and around the country who knew of her work.
UPDATE: Fishbowl DC wrote a nice tribute in their blog recently, following up on their kind words when she got her lifetime acheivement award earlier this year. David Broder was kind enough to put some words of remembrance as well in his column. Other Capitol Hill insiders have noted her passing too.
The Examiner had a piece as well but the copy didn’t do her justice. She did not cover “education issues” in Virginia – she was the only reporter to comprehensively and fairly cover the desegregation of schools in Northern Virginia. If you want to know what happened during that time, literally, you can’t get a better source than her reporting.
Come on, guys.
UPDATE: I have been doing some Google News searches and am linking to unique tributes to Helen on this post. The Stockton Record had a nice tribute, fitting, since she was a native of Stockton. They also mention her time at Stanford, which you read about here earlier this year.
Also, here’s a picture from former Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) with Helen doing what she did best, asking questions and getting the story.
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