Friday, October 27, 2006

R. W. Apple obituary

I completely missed that R. W. Apple died earlier this month. Link to the NY Times obituary.
Mr. Apple enjoyed a career like no other in the modern era of The Times. He was the paper’s bureau chief in Albany, Lagos, Nairobi, Saigon, Moscow, London and Washington. He covered 10 presidential elections and more than 20 national nominating conventions. He led The Times’s coverage of the Vietnam war for two and a half years in the 1960’s and of the Persian Gulf war a generation later and he chronicled the Iranian revolution in between.


the journalism magazine MORE pronounced Mr. Apple “America’s most powerful political reporter” in 1976, a distinction he accepted with some trepidation.

“I am frightened by it,” he told the magazine, “or perhaps awed is a better word. And I am very reluctant to throw it around in the newspaper.” He added: “I’m very ambivalent about the power I have and the way it’s used. Yet I would be transparently un-candid if I didn’t say I do enjoy it enormously.”


For his 70th birthday, he gathered friends at the Paris bistro Chez L’Ami Louis, which he often described as his favorite restaurant, for heaping plates of foie gras, roast chicken, escargots, scallops and pommes Anna, washed down with gallons of burgundy and magnums of Calvados.

Mr. Trillin, who later wrote about the evening for Gourmet, quoted one guest who summed up Mr. Apple’s attitude toward the party, and toward the rich, long life and career that produced it: “It’s my understanding that Apple has simplified what could be a terribly difficult choice by telling them to bring everything.”