Alcott, David L.


April 4, 1941- August 9, 2004 

David L. Alcott, 63, former reporter for the Oakland Tribune, died August 9 of heart failure at his home in Petaluma following a long illness. Alcott was a news reporter and editor for most of his work career after his graduation from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1963. He wrote for newspapers in Missouri, Hawaii and California, most notably for the Oakland Tribune for many years. Previously, he worked in London and San Francisco as a staff writer for United Press International and in Munich, Germany, for Radio Free Europe. During his time in Europe he visited Prague, Czechoslovakia, during the 1968 uprising, and traveled by mail bus across the Iraqi Desert from Damascus to Baghdad. As a reporter for the Petaluma Argus-Courier, Alcott led the news coverage of forged signatures appearing on an initiative proposition, leading to a criminal investigation of proponents of the initiative and a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Alcott and the newspaper. He also authored an extensive series of articles about the work being done by astronomers and physicists on the origins of the solar system and the universe. Alcott was a lifelong advocate for protecting the civil and economic rights of the poor and disadvantaged in America. He worked as a writer and editor for El Malcriado, the United Farm Workers of America newspaper under UFW founder Cesar Chavez. Alcott also was employed by the U.S. Navy as a speechwriter for an admiral based at Treasure Island Naval Base, during which time he flew in an F-18A Hornet with the Blue Angels and participated in missions on the USS Missouri and the USS Enterprise. Alcott is survived by his daughter, Kathleen M. Alcott, 16, a junior at Petaluma High School, his former wife, Carolyn Alcott of Petaluma; his mother, Muriel Alcott of Independence, Mo., his sisters, Barbara Dawson of Independence, Mo., and Martha Alcott Nilan of Sacramento; three nephews, Douglas Dawson of Madison, Wisc., Christopher Dawson of Oberlin, Ohio, Patrick Nilan of Sacramento, and a niece, Katherine Nilan of Sacramento. -

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