Bob Compton, a Pioneering Books Editor Who Won the Respect of Texas Luminaries, Dies at 92

Robert D. "Bob" Compton, a World War II veteran whose nearly 50 years in Dallas journalism began before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and whose kindness and generosity endeared him to generations of friends and colleagues, died early Thursday. He was 92.Compton, who oversaw book coverage at The Dallas Morning News from 1981 until his retirement in 1998, documented the accomplishments of such Texas luminaries as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry and Peabody Award winner Jim Lehrer, who was also one of his proteges. Randy Eli Grothe, a former photographer for The News, where Compton began working in 1956, said his friend passed away shortly after 4 a.m. at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center. He moved there in January, after learning he had Stage 4 lung cancer last summer.Peter Applebome, who worked at The News from 1978 to 1982 but who spent 32 years at The New York Times, and who's the author of two books, called Compton "a singular presence, friend and mentor to generations of Dallas journalists, who hung out in his office, overflowing with rickety stacks of books and piles of papers like Bob's own journalistic Batcave. If journalism, at its best, is a conspiracy to tell the truth, Bob was one of its most ardent, committed and mischievous practitioners. Boy, will he be missed."Bob Mong, former editor of The News, credited Compton with bridging "the old Morning News with the new. He was a major figure in encouraging highly talented journalists in the 1970s and '80s — people like Lloyd Grove, Peter Applebome, Steve Kenny and many others who went on to success at places like The New York Times and Washington Post. Everything about him exuded honestly and credibility and warmth."  Continue reading...

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