LA Times alums: Ruth Ryon, Lonnie White*

Ruth Ryon, the longtime Los Angeles Times real estate reporter who created the paper's popular Hot Property column on real estate deals of the famous and hope-to-be-famous, died Friday at a hospice facility in Redondo Beach. She was 69, the Times said. The cause was reported as complications of Parkinson's disease. Ryon left the Times in 2008 and her creation of Hot Property was praised by the real estate editor at the time:

Ryon was one of the first journalists in the country to recognize that readers shared her passion for a glimpse into the homes and lifestyles of Hollywood celebrities, sports figures and captains of industry. It was in reading Parade magazine that she got the idea to write the column as short, pithy items. Her writing style was the voice of the woman behind the pen: She let the facts, in understated prose, speak for themselves.

Although it was then-Real Estate editor Dick Turpin and Times' associate editor Jean Sharley Taylor who gave her the go-ahead for the column in 1984, then-deputy associate editor Shelby Coffey III saw its potent reader interest and moved it to the front page of the section in 1987.

Thumbnail image for lonnie-white-wearesc.jpgAnd on Saturday afternoon, Lonnie White — the former Times sportswriter and USC football player — died at Glendale Memorial Hospital, according to friends. I don't have an age on Lonnie or a cause of death. In 2011, he posted a first-person story about accepting a brown bag with $5,000 cash — in exchange for USC football tickets — while he was a star wide receiver and kick returner for the Trojans in the 1980s. "To this day, it’s something I’m ashamed about," he wrote then. White is the author of "UCLA vs. USC: 75 Years of the Greatest Rivalry in Sports," published by Angel City Press. He left the Times in 2008.

* 7:30 p.m. update A tribute from Jay Christensen, a former LAT colleague of White's who says he was 49:

Lonnie battled a rare condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa for much of his life. In 2010, his illness was featured on the Discovery Health Channel....

Lonnie's condition had been deteriorating in recent months. The Hidradenitis Suppurativa disease became more aggressive. He was diabetic, had acute pancreatitis and Crohn's disease. But Lonnie's spirit was always strong, his attitude upbeat.

In 1986, Lonnie set a USC single-season record for kickoff return yardage. That record stood until 2010 when it was broken by Robert Woods.

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