David Halberstam, who died yesterday in an auto accident at the age of 73, will be forever linked to the reporting he did as a young journalist in Vietnam. He was one of the first reporters to note the intractability of that conflict, as well as the corruption of U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government. For this he earned both the scorn of at least one administration and the Pulitzer Prize. He left the Times somewhat acrimoniously and began a full-time career as a nonfiction writer.
From the New York Times of Sunday, January 26, 1964.
Among his best known books are The Best and the Brightest, about the architects of the Vietnam disaster, The Powers That Be, about the media, and a ton of titles about baseball. Our Emily Gould, who knew him slightly when she was at Hyperion, notes that he was universally beloved: "He knew every copy editor's name, he made no class distinctions, and was unfailingly polite—and funny—with everyone." His style could be overly enthusiastic (Garry Trudeau affectionately drew him as a reporter worshipping at the altar of reporters in a series of "Doonesbury" strips) but he will deservedly be remembered as a legend in that profession.