Longtime AP Alaska bureau chief Dean Fosdick dies at age 80

Dean Fosdick, the journalist with The Connected Push who filed the information alert informing the world of the Exxon Valdez grounding and who directed AP’s protection of what was then the nation’s worst oil spill, died April 27 in Florida. He was 80.

His longtime career with the news service incorporated 15 a long time as the bureau main in Alaska.

It was in that purpose that he was awakened at about 5:30 a.m. on March 24, 1989, by a caller with a idea that an oil tanker experienced operate aground outside the house Valdez, Alaska.

He speedily verified with the U.S. Coast Guard that the tanker Exxon Valdez experienced struck a reef and was leaking oil into Prince William Sound.

He then directed protection of the spill that incorporated extra than a dozen AP reporters, photographers and editors, reporting on the spill that marred coastline strains and lined seabirds and otters in thick crude.

Fosdick was born Aug. 26, 1941, in Owatonna, Minnesota. At age 17, he joined the U.S. Army to see the world. He grew to become a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and invested two decades in the Much East.

Right after his support, he earned both equally his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota Faculty of Journalism.

Right after functioning for the Minneapolis Star newspaper and briefly in politics, he started his long occupation with the AP in the Nashville, Tennessee, bureau in 1978.

In 1982, he transferred to the AP’s General Desk in New York and grew to become the correspondent in Juneau, Alaska, a yr later.

In 1985, he was named Alaska bureau chief, where by he aided mould youthful journalists.

“Dean was 1 of the greatest AP colleagues I have at any time worked for, and he was a regular power in Alaska journalism for extra than a ten years,” reported Jim Clarke, whom Fosdick employed in 1993.

“He was always completely ready to tell a very good Alaska yarn to the relaxation of the entire world and allow young pups like me do the same. He relished his staff’s accomplishment and pushed us to do our best do the job,” Clarke reported.

Clarke stated Fosdick taught him how to be an AP newsman.

“‘We run for the telephones when information breaks’ was a single of his favorite sayings,” explained Clarke, now AP’s Controlling Director of Regional Marketplaces.

Larry Campbell succeeded Fosdick as Alaska bureau chief when Fosdick took early retirement in 2001. Fosdick championed him for the position with AP management in New York, where the wire provider is headquartered.

Campbell stated the greatest piece of guidance Fosdick gave him was, “New York does not want to listen to about problems, they want to hear about solutions.”

“That taught me how to be a chief,” Campbell stated.

Charles Bingham was a reporter at the now-defunct Anchorage Instances and recalled the time Fosdick had a tough time conveying an only-in-Alaska cost to accountants in New York.

In 1988 Fosdick sent reporters to Utqiaġvik, the Arctic Ocean coastal local community formerly known as Barrow, to deal with initiatives to rescue a whale but only immediately after outfitting them with an abnormal item.

“He despatched a reporting crew, but they weren’t likely to be permitted on the ice unless of course they carried a high-powered rifle as security against polar bears. Dean experienced lots of enjoyment seeking to explain that price,” Bingham claimed.

Campbell also credited Fosdick with trying to keep the Alaska Push Club alive as customers lost fascination when the Anchorage Instances shut down just after losing a newspaper war to the city’s other everyday, the Anchorage Day by day News.

“The Affiliated Press Stylebook” is the normal usage guideline for newsrooms about the entire world. Fosdick created a related e-book, named “The Linked Press Stylebook for Alaska,” offering utilization guides for all matters Alaska, some thing he did not look for approval from New York in advance of carrying out, Campbell mentioned.

“That’s what Dean did, he did things to hold journalism seriously practical in Alaska to the outside planet,” Campbell claimed. “I assume he cared a lot more for Alaska journalism than individuals understand.”

When Fosdick retired, he did not place down the pen, creating a two times-month to month gardening column for the AP till 2020.

In addition to remaining a master gardener, his family’s obituary reported Fosdick had a pilot’s license and a scuba certification and was both of those a beekeeper and an emergency health-related technician.

He is survived by his spouse Carol and a great number of mates.