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Reich, Kenneth 1938-2008 (Kenneth Irvin Reich)

Reich, Kenneth 1938-2008 (Kenneth Irvin Reich)

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born March 7, 1938, in Los Angeles, CA; died June 30, 2008, in Sherman Oaks, CA. Journalist, political reporter, magazine writer, and author. Reich spent almost forty years with the Los Angeles Times, retiring in 2004. In the 1960s and 1970s he covered presidential politics, including the campaigns of winners Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, as well as unsuccessful candidates Eugene McCarthy and George Wallace. In the late 1970s he became passionately involved in the quest to secure the location of the 1984 Olympic Games for the city of Los Angeles, but with an important distinction: he wanted to spare taxpayers the huge cost of hosting an event that had become as much a competitive extravaganza among event producers as it was an athletic competition. Reich launched a publicity campaign that included a seemingly endless outpouring of newspaper articles covering every detail of the planning and fundraising activities. In the end, the Los Angeles Olympics not only avoided a legacy of debt, but the games earned the cash-strapped city a stunning profit of 200-million dollars. Reich later described the daunting project in his book Making It Happen: Peter Ueberroth and the 1984 Olympics (1984). Reich's other major project of the 1980s was his newspaper campaign in support of Proposition 103, a package of insurance reforms proposed and later enacted to regulate the California insurance industry and reduce rates for policy holders. In retirement, Reich used the Internet to advocate reforms in the ownership and management of the Times which, like many other big-city newspapers, had been affected by mergers and consolidations that placed them beyond local control. When the Times Mirror Company was acquired by the Tribune Company in 2000, the control base was moved to Tribune headquarters in Chicago. Though he had worked briefly in the 1960s for the Sacramento bureau of United Press International and for Life magazine, Reich had spent his entire professional life at a paper that was anchored to the interests of the city and state that he had made his permanent home.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Los Angeles Times, July 1, 2008, p. B6.

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