Ben Bagdikian, former dean of the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and media critic who played a key role in publishing the Pentagon Papers, died March 11 at his home in Berkeley. He was 96.
Over five decades, Bagdikian was a national and foreign correspondent for newspapers and magazines, the author of eight books and a professor and the dean at Berkeley.
In 1971, while assistant managing editor of The Washington Post, he helped that newspaper publish the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. At the time, a federal court had barred The New York Times from printing excerpts of the papers, so Bagdikian personally obtained the documents from former defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg.
His 1983 book, “The Media Monopoly,” predicted the consolidation of American journalism by major conglomerates.
He retired from UC-Berkeley in 1990.
Bagdikian’s many accolades include a Peabody Award, a Pulitzer Prize (which he shared with a team at the Providence Journal and Evening Bulletin), a Guggenheim Fellowship and a James Madison Award. (Photo by Richard Barnes)