Richard Cooper goes back to the 1960s as a reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times, for much of the time the key deputy in the Washington bureau who held things together on big national stories and crises. He's current an assistant bureau chief. A note to the staff today from Washington Bureau Chief David Lauter announces Cooper's impending retirement.
After about half a century of committing journalism for a living, Dick Cooper will be leaving us at the end of the week. We’ll have an opportunity to say a lot more about Dick at a party in late October (the 29th or 30th, so hold the dates, and we’ll let you know for sure after Labor Day when I and others are all back to work). For now, though, I wanted to take a moment of your time for a note of appreciation – both personally and collectively.
Dick Cooper has been part of this bureau and its predecessors for longer than many of us have been able to read, let alone write. He has hired, guided, mentored, edited, rewritten or nurtured a larger percentage of Washington’s best journalists than almost anyone else in the business. On a personal note, Dick, along with Jack Nelson and Joel Havemann, hired me going on 25 years ago now, so he gets at least a third of the blame (or credit) you might devote to that act. I won’t try right now to list every major story he’s been involved in covering – maybe at the party – but you know the list is long when the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968 isn’t even the first item. For all that, the only thing to say is thank you.