Chron editorial page editor John Diaz says he wonders if the Merc’s Rich Ramirez ever knew how much he was appreciated. Diaz writes about the painstaking work Ramirez did to organize the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in San Jose, which took place a few days before he was found dead of an apparent suicide June 20.
- “The convention was a huge success and no one seemed to be having a better time than Rich when I caught up with him at an opening-night reception. As always, he was quick with a smile and quick with questions about how things were going with my life and job.
“Four days after the convention, Rich Ramirez was found dead in the backyard of his Livermore home, with a knife wound in his midsection. Police still suspect it was a suicide, by about the most painful and difficult method imaginable.
“Those who knew Rich Ramirez could not say which was more inconceivable: That he would take his life or that someone would want to hurt a man who radiated such brightness and generosity. One could only speculate: Was it the angst and uncertainty that has gripped the profession he loved? Or was it a deeply personal pain that no one who thought they knew him ever recognized?”