Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 3, 2008
LAT's Bill Stall, 71, dies

Bill Stall, the Sacramento-based Pulitzer-prize winning editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times, has died. He was 71.

The Times has an obituary here.

The paper has posted his editorial series on California governance that won the Pulitzer here.

From the Times' obituary:

In 1975 and 1976, Stall worked briefly for Gov. Jerry Brown as press secretary and director of public affairs. He joined The Times in 1976 as a writer for the paper's Metro section and later covered energy policy and worked as an assistant Metro editor and then staff writer in the Washington bureau. He then left The Times to become the Washington bureau chief for the Hartford Courant, a sister newspaper in what was then the Times Mirror chain.

He returned to The Times in 1984 for his first tour as an editorial writer, followed by several years as a political writer.

He was an editorial writer based in Sacramento from 1997 until he left the paper in a staff reduction in 2006. Though Stall left the staff, his byline continued in the paper as a contributing editor to the Opinion pages up to the end of his life.

(George) Skelton, who writes on California government, recalled Stall as "civil and courteous in a tense world of deadlines." He also said Stall had "a sharp, dry sense of humor."

"In his fading, final days, as he resigned himself to the inevitable, Bill's wife asked him whether he didn't want to be around for the election," Skelton said. "He replied, 'Yes, but since I've never died before, I don't know how quickly the weakness will take over.' "

Skelton said Stall took the precaution of mailing in his absentee ballot.


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