David Halberstam - Press Gazette

David Halberstam

One of the USA's best-known journalists, David Halberstam, whose reporting from Vietnam for the New York Times in the 1960s aroused the ire of many a Washington official, has died in a car crash in California. He was 73.

David, who won many journalism prizes including a Pulitzer, was also the author of numerous books, including one about the Korean War entitled The Coldest Winter, which is due out later this year.

His most famous book was The Best and The Brightest, a study of American political celebrities in the 1960s.

He also wrote about sport – and was on his way to interview a well-known American football player when he was killed. He wrote about 20 books.

David took to writing books after leaving the New York Times in the late 1960s after spells as a correspondent in Congo and Poland.

He alternated writing serious books about politics and journalism with some about sport. "It was his way of taking a break," said his widow, Jean, a writer.

But former colleague Russell Baker, who worked with him on the New York Times, insisted: "He never took a day off – he was always working."

Ironically, the night before David died, he gave a lecture to students about "Turning journalism into history", which is what colleagues said he had done for four decades.

Tall and square-jawed, David's face and low, gravelly voice were also well known on American television.

But it will be for his coverage of the Vietnam war – for which he earned the nickname The Reporter Who Roared – that he will be most remembered.

President Kennedy was so incensed by his reporting that he suggested to NY Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger that he be recalled from Vietnam and replaced. Sulzberger refused.