Friends, Colleagues Pay Tribute to Bay Area Journalism Legend

From 1947 through 1986, Gale Cook (pictured) played a pivotal role with the San Francisco Examiner, a once great newspaper which today functions as a free, web-anchored entity. In the wake of Cook’s death on Tuesday at age 92, Marin Independent Journal reporter Nels Johnson gathered heartfelt tributes from friends and colleagues.

The headiest praise for Cook, who worked as an editor, reporter, and Sacramento bureau chief, comes from former San Francisco mayor Art Agnos. The lifelong politician calls Cook the “Walter Cronkite of the legislative press corps” and says he was “one of the very few heroes” in his 40-year-career as a public servant. There’s also this great tidbit from when Cook first joined the Examiner:

One of Cook’s assignments near the end of that first year was to join other San Francisco staffers in a desperate hunt for Apollinaris water sought by William Randolph Hearst Sr. in Los Angeles to soothe a stomach ache. Examiner staffers found the water, besting Hearst staffers in other regions who could not.

The kind of longevity and respect that Cook enjoyed is a bittersweet reminder of the newspaper era that once was. He was also responsible for hiring the Examiner‘s first black and Asian America staffers. RIP.