Denny Walsh, Reporter Who Tussled With Mayors and Editors, Dies at 88

Denny Walsh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who was a consummate nuisance to mobsters, corrupt politicians and his editors, especially at The New York Times, which fired him, died on March 29 at his home in Antelope, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento. He was 88.

His daughter, Colleen Bartow, confirmed the death. She said he had been suffering from several respiratory ailments.

Mr. Walsh began his career in 1961 at The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, where he hot-dogged around the newsroom smoking cigars and used the floor as his ashtray.

“Walsh had the tenacity of a pit bull and seemed to be developing some of the facial features of the breed,” Pat Buchanan, the conservative commentator who was then an editorial writer at the paper, wrote in his autobiography, “Right from the Beginning” (1988). “His laugh was loud and uncontrolled and bordered on the malicious.”

Mr. Buchanan added, “When Walsh sank his teeth into a politician, he usually did serious damage, and he was always reluctant to let go.”

Investigative reporters are an idiosyncratic breed of journalist. Typically fearless, they are often a source of angina to their editors. Mr. Walsh was no exception. He liked to boast that he was sued multiple times for libel but had never lost a case. He was often at loggerheads with his bosses.

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