Rex Adkins, A longtime copy editor at Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune and a leader in the Newspaper Guild, has died in San Diego at the age of 86, the Chron reports. According to the obit by Michael Cabanatuan:
- During the McCarthy era, as a graduate student in history at UC Berkeley, he refused to sign a loyalty oath for a university job, which meant he could no longer afford to continue his studies, said daughter Christine Toscano.
- He resigned from the Oakland Tribune in 1968 because of the conservative politics of the newspaper’s owners, the Knowland family, and the publication in the newspaper of ads he considered racist, daughter Madeleine Adkins said.
- “He was very proud of having stood his ground ethically at a fair cost to himself,” Toscano said.
The Chron obit notes that Adkins was a dedicated defender of the English language and was once labeled “the philosopher of the copy desk” by columnist Herb Caen for a 1974 observation that Caen quoted often: “San Francisco is a city that wishes people would call her Frisco again.”