YAKIMA, Wash. — Larry Burrough, an Ellensburg native and newspaper journalist held in high regard by his peers, died Monday in Yakima.
He was 66.
Burrough, who worked as a reporter and city editor at the Yakima Herald-Republic between 1971 and 1974, became the supervising editor for a 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative series for the Orange County (Calif.) Register on fraud and financial improprieties at fertility clinics.
Previously, Burrough was the editor of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, which folded in 1989 and at one time claimed the largest daily newspaper circulation in the country.
A 1965 graduate of Ellensburg High School, Burrough earned a bachelor’s degree from what at the time was Central Washington State College, now Central Washington University. He taught for a time in Montana before joining the Herald-Republic.
Friends and family members said Burrough moved to Ellensburg several years ago to care for his ill father. Last year, he was stricken with a brain tumor, followed by surgery in December. He died at Cottage in the Meadow hospice in Yakima.
Burrough came to be known as a tough but fair editor.
But before he scaled the heights in the newsroom, he made a name for himself at the Herald-Republic with award-winning stories on education and misspending in federal education programs.
He also once reported from the Goodyear Blimp, writing about “flying over Yakima with only a Dacron bag filled with helium holding me in the air.
It was a Dacron bag that can be punctured with a pencil,” the Goodyear PR man told him during the flight.
Bill Lee, former Herald-Republic editorial page editor, recalled supervising Burrough on the city desk.
“He was always joking. He kept things lively. But he was a good reporter, too,” Lee said.
When the big Watergate scandal stories broke in 1972, Lee said Burrough used to come down to the office on his day off “just to feel like he was part of journalism.”
Burrough’s sisters, Nancy Yuckert of Puyallup and Anna Zaharris of Olympia, recalled that reporters would complain about all the work he made them put into a story. “But afterward they were always grateful. He made them better,” Zaharris recalled.
Ed Stover, a former Herald-Republic reporter, worked with Burrough at the Bellevue Journal-American (now defunct) and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (now online only).
“Some people are born to their craft and if anyone was ever born to be a city editor, it was Larry Burrough,” said Stover, who is retired in Yakima.
“When it came to covering the news, he was all business. It was all about the story and he was meticulous and demanding in that process.”
Burrough is also survived by his brother, Jim Burrough of Olympia, stepdaughter Dru Moore of Idaho and son Max Burrough, 15, and daughter Grace Burrough, 12, of New York state.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.