Both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times are reporting the death today of USC professor emeritus A.J. (Jack) Langguth, a former correspondent for the NYT and one of the few remaining veterans of the late Valley Times newspaper in the San Fernando Valley. Langguth was a Saigon bureau chief for the New York Times, among other assignments, before turning to book writing and, in 1976, the journalism faculty at USC. His books included “Macumba: White and Black Magic in Brazil,” “Our Vietnam: The War 1954-1975,” "Driven West: Andrew Jackson's Trail of Tears ," "Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence," "Hidden Terrors: The Truth About U. S. Police Operations in Latin America," and "A Noise of War: Caesar, Pompey, Octavian and the Struggle for Rome." He also edited "Norman Corwin's Letters," published in 1994, and wrote several novels.
Langguth's latest book, "After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace,” is due to be published this year by Simon & Schuster. USC journalism professor Joe Saltzman, himself another Valley Times alumnus, told the New York Times that years from now people will examine Langguth’s range of books and "This couldn’t be one writer."
Last year Langguth wrote an op-ed article for the Los Angeles Times about his relationship as a reporter with the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President of John Kennedy.
The LA Times obit says that Langguth died today at his Hollywood home of respiratory failure, citing longtime friend Charles Fleming, the LAT staffer. Langguth retired from teach ing at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism in 2003.