2006_10_rwapple.jpgR.W. Apple, whose byline could be seen on articles about politics and hot dogs and had been the NY Times bureau chief in seven cities, died this morning in Washington, DC. His NY Times obituary (written by Todd Purdum) shows the amazing sprawl of his life and career:

Drama, and a lot of dash, followed Mr. Apple as night follows day. He was the pool reporter sent to the deck of the U.S.S. Forrestal in 1967 when a fiery accident nearly killed one of the ship’s pilots, Lieut. Commander John S. McCain 3d. From that incident he formed a lifelong friendship with the pilot, who went on to become a United States Senator.

It was Mr. Apple, or so the legend goes, who told Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot. It was Mr. Apple whose relentless questioning elicited from Ronald L. Ziegler, Richard M. Nixon’s press secretary, the admission that his previous explanations about the Watergate affair were “inoperative.”

Mr. Apple’s dinner guests — at his Georgetown house, his farm near Gettysburg, Pa., or his English cottage in the Cotswolds — were apt to include not only leading politicians but also prominent figures in architecture, cuisine and the arts. He thought nothing of beginning a sentence by saying, “The first time I made lunch for Julia Child ... .”

You can read his articles here - many of his travel and food articles are not behind the wall.