Remembering R.W. "Johnny" Apple Jr.

By RJI on October 5, 2006 0 Comments

by CCJ Staff

Longtime New York Times journalist R.W. "Johnny" Apple Jr. died October 4 at the age of 71.

Apple enjoyed a distinguished career at The Times after joing the Metro staff in 1963. He served as the paper's bureau chief in Albany, Lagos, Nairobi, Saigon, Moscow, London, and Washington. During his 40 years as a correspondent and editor at The Times he covered 10 presidential elections and more than 20 national nominating conventions. He led the paper's Vietnam war coverage for two-and-a-half years in the 1960s and later covered the Persian Gulf war.

Apple is credited with being one of the first political correspondents to understand the influence of the Iowa precinct caucuses in reflecting the strengths and weaknesses of potential presidential candidates. This led to Apple being one of the first reporters to take note of the potential appeal of little-known former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter in 1972, putting The Times ahead of the curve when Carter won the Democratic nomination four years later.

Although his writing never won a Pulitzer, Apple's distinctive and colorful style earned the admiration of his readers. Apple never stopped writing about politics, but later in his career began to write more about food, architecture, and travel. He traveled the world, and after returning to Washington in 1985 from a nine-year stint as London bureau chief he wrote "Apple's Europe," a critically praised book of travel and restaurant tips that he followed in 2005 with "Apple's America."

Please click here for a New York Times piece on Apple by Todd S. Purdum. [Note: Registration on the New York Times website may be required.]