2003 Hall of Fame


Elinor J. Brecher ’77

A reporter at the Miami Herald since 1989, Elinor Brecher began her career at the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where she wrote for the city desk and features and magazine sections and was even a singles advice columnist. Before joining the Herald, she was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard for 1987-1988 where her studies focused on U.S. social history and American literature.

Brecher is the author of the non-fiction book “Schindler’s Legacy: True Stories of the List Survivors,” published in 1994. A Book of the Month Club selection and Penguin Highbridge Audiobook, it has sold 120,000 copies in four languages. Winner of many journalism awards, Brecher was part of the team that earned the Miami Herald a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1993 for coverage of Hurricane Andrew. Her live reporting for Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, led the Herald’s coverage of the World Trade Center disaster to a third place finish in the 2002 National Headliner Awards. Active as a featured speaker and lecturer in the Miami community, Elinor Brecher was named one of Miami-Dade County’s “Women Who Make a Difference” in 1999.

As an undergraduate, Brecher was city editor of the Daily Wildcat. In 1977 she earned the Sherman R. Miller Award as the outstanding graduate of the journalism department.

Bobbie Jo Buel ’79

Bobbie Jo Buel has been a fixture in the Arizona journalism community for nearly 25 years. After a brief stint with the Associated Press upon graduation, Buel joined the Arizona Daily Star as a reporter in 1980. She ultimately covered six metro beats before being promoted to assistant city editor, features editor and assistant managing editor. She was named managing editor in 1991 and was promoted to executive editor in October 2003.

Her work with the Daily Wildcat was just as prolific–and got its start with some unusual motivation. On her first day as a Wildcat reporter, Buel recalled in the 1999 Wildcat Alumni Directory, an editor ripped her story up and threw it out the window. She went on to work at the Daily Wildcat as a reporter, assistant city editor, city editor, and legislative correspondent (Don Bolles Fellowship). Buel was named the journalism department’s outstanding graduate in 1979.

Bobbie Jo Buel is president of the Arizona Newspapers Association and a national board member of the Associated Press Managing Editors.

Michael A. Chihak ’71

A native Tucsonan, Michael Chihak returned in 2000 to take the helm as editor and publisher of the Tucson Citizen–a paper he delivered as a boy on Tucson’s south side and where he got his first newspaper job as a senior at the UA.

Later, following a 10-year stint as AP correspondent, Chihak served as a reporter and desk editor at the Citizen before moving on to USA Today in 1984, where he served for eight years in Washington, D.C., mostly as an assistant national editor. In 1992, Chihak moved back west, this time to Salinas, Calif., where he became executive editor of The Californian. In 1994 he was promoted to president and publisher of Salinas Newspapers, Inc., remaining there until coming back to Tucson nearly four years ago.

Michael Chihak is a member of the Newspaper Association of America, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is a former member of the Pacific Advisory Committee to the Freedom Forum and a former member of the advisory committee to the Total Community Coverage program of the Maynard Institute. He is also on the advisory boards to the UA School of Social and Behavorial Sciences and the journalism department.

David Fitzsimmons ’77

The editorial cartoonist and public quick sketch artist known throughout Tucson simply as “Fitz” graced the pages of the Daily Wildcat with his humor and drawings in the 1970s. David Fitzsimmons has since become an award-winning editorial cartoonist at the Arizona Daily Star. A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1988, Fitz has been judged by the Arizona Press Club to be the best political cartoonist in the state for the past three years in a row.

While continuing to draw a daily edit cartoon for the Star, Fitz has also developed a public speaking career, using topical humor and quick sketches to entertain audiences throughout Southern Arizona. In high demand for lectures, charity events, banquets and fundraisers, Fitz has entertained thousands of Tucsonans over the last 20 years with his quick wit and quick sketch shows. Part performer, part caricaturist, part satirist, part clown, and part teacher, he has become a Tucson icon with pen in hand. His presentations have been described as “Dennis Miller Meets Pictionary,” and Fitz has headlined at Laffs Comedy Club and opened for Mark Russell.

Fitz’ sideline as humorist has done nothing to dull his edge as political satirist. His editorial cartoons for the Daily Star continue to vex, amuse and provoke readers with their insightful take on news and culture.

James W. Johnson ’61

A member of the UA journalism faculty for more than 24 years, James W. Johnson influenced hundreds of Wildcat reporters and editors as a teacher and mentor before his retirement as a professor of journalism last spring. Johnson was also a longtime member of the Student Media (Publications) Board where he voted on the selection of many Wildcat editors in chief.

An 18-year veteran reporter and editor at the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune before joining the journalism department, Johnson kept his hand in the news business even while teaching. He worked summers as a copy editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Providence Journal, the Oregonian, the Arizona Republic and other papers. He also co-authored two books, “Mo: The Life and Times of Morris K. Udall” (with Donald Carson) and “One Step from the White House: The Rise and Fall of U.S. Senator William F. Knowland.” He also is the author of “Arizona Politicians: The Noble and the Notorious” (which is illustrated by fellow Hall of Fame member David Fitzsimmons).

Jim Johnson was both photo editor and sports editor of the Arizona Wildcat in the pre-daily days of the paper, and he was a student of Sherman R. Miller 3rd, also an inductee to the Hall of Fame.

Sherman R. Miller 3rd

Sherman R. Miller 3rd was a veteran newspaperman and head of the UA journalism department when he died unexpectedly in 1968 while teaching abroad under a Fulbright Fellowship. A spirited and much-respected teacher, Miller was also adviser to the Wildcat when the paper turned into a daily and, eventually, when it moved out from under the journalism department’s control in 1966.

As a member of the journalism faculty, Miller achieved much acclaim. He was named the outstanding male faculty member of the university in 1964, and in 1966 Esquire Magazine listed him among 33 “super-profs” around the country. Wildcat reporters and editors from the era–including several other members of the Hall of Fame–remember Miller as a demanding but inspiring mentor. For Wildcatters from the 1960s, Sherm Miller remains a legendary figure. (See the Sherm Miller newsroom here)

Miller came to the UA in 1959 after a distinguished newspaper career that he began as a copy boy in the 1920s for the Detroit Free Press. He went on to work for the Associated Press, the Chicago Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the New York Journal-American. He spent 10 years at the New York Times and was also a part-time instructor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

George B. Morley II

George B. Morley’s 15 years as a professional staff member in the Daily Wildcat’s advertising department was his second career, but it was a career that made a significant difference in the lives of many Wildcat students.

Joining the staff in 1978, Morley had recently retired after a 28-year career with the U.S. Foreign Service. Posted to stations all around the world, Morley served in such geopolitical hotspots as Lebanon, Iran and Vietnam. In fact, he retired after his six-year tour in Vietnam and was on the last plane out during the fall of Saigon in 1975.

Morley brought polish and professionalism as a former member of the Foreign Service to the Wildcat, where he served as advertising manager until his retirement in 1993. He always wore a tie and jacket and set high standards for conduct and practice among his student staff. During these years, the Wildcat also became fully independent financially from the university and Morley’s sales staffs regularly began bringing in the $1 million plus required to sustain the Wildcat’s excellence.

Many former students remember George Morley as a mentor who influenced not just their time on the Wildcat but also the future direction of their careers and lives. He passed away in March 2003.

Lynne Olson ’69

Lynne Olson’s prolific career as a journalist and author began in Salt Lake City in 1971 with the Associated Press. In 1973 she was asked to become the AP’s first woman correspondent in Moscow, where she was based from 1974 to 1976 and covered such news events as the Apollo-Soyuz mission and President Nixon’s visit to the Soviet Union. In 1976, Olson was reassigned to cover Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign.

After Carter became president, Olson joined the D.C. bureau of the Baltimore Sun, where she covered national politics and eventually the White House. She left the Sun in 1981 to become a freelance writer and wrote for such publications as American Heritage, Smithsonian, Ms., Elle and the L.A. Times Magazine. She also taught journalism for five years as an assistant professor at American University in Washington, D.C.

Olson has written or co-authored three books in the last eight years. In 1996, with her husband Stanley Cloud, she co-authored “The Murrow Boys,” a highly acclaimed biography of the correspondents who worked with Edward R. Murrow and helped create CBS News. This year the Olson-Cloud team joined forces again to write “A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II,” published in September.

Lynne Olson’s own book, published in 2001, is “Freedom’s Daughters,” the first comprehensive history of women in the civil rights movement. It won a Christopher Award in 2002.

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