David MacKenzie, who co-founded the Los Altos Town Crier in 1947 and was publisher until 1972, died July 31 in Los Altos Hills after years of declining health. He was 93.
MacKenzie and Warren Goodrich initially started the Town Crier as a small advertising-only publication. The paper soon became known for its wit and irreverence. MacKenzie led the way with humorous observations on local life in his “Under the Oak” column, which ran from the Town Crier’s editorial beginnings in the 1950s until 1969.
“He was a little bit sardonic and satirical about some of the foibles, some of the airs Los Altos people put on,” his friend Mort Levine recalled. “He kind of punctured those kinds of pretensions — which is rare, especially in community newspapers, which usually play it safe.”
Levine, who eventually bought the Town Crier and a group of other small newspapers from MacKenzie, said he first met MacKenzie in the 1950s when he was editing for a competitor, the Los Altos News. He said he was drawn to MacKenzie’s column, with its sparkling wit.
“It was the freshest kind of writing around,” Levine said. “I was intrigued and got to meet him.”
MacKenzie expanded the Town Crier and founded the Cupertino Courier and the Sunnyvale Scribe. MacKenzie sold his papers to Milpitas Post publisher Levine in 1972. The two remained lifelong friends.
Here’s the full obit from the Town Crier.