David Lamb, a 1981 Nieman Fellow and a longtime foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, died on Sunday in Alexandria, Virginia. Lamb, who had been battling lymphoma and esophageal cancer, was 76.
Lamb is perhaps best known for his coverage of Vietnam. He reported from the front lines of the conflict for United Press International in the late 1960s, and went on to cover the fall of Saigon in 1975 for the Times. He returned to Vietnam two decades later, opening the newspaper’s Hanoi bureau.
Born in Boston in 1940, Lamb began his career at the age of 14, writing a weekly column about the Milwaukee Braves, who had recently deserted Boston for the Midwest, from the perspective of a teenager missing his favorite team.
Lamb graduated from the University of Maine’s journalism school in 1962 and joined the staff of The Okinawa Morning Star before reporting around the country—and later, from Vietnam—for UPI. For the L.A. Times, he served as a correspondent from countries around the world, serving as bureau chief in Cairo, Nairobi, Sydney, and Hanoi. He spent 34 years with the paper before leaving in 2004.
Lamb was also a prolific author. His first book, “The Africans” (1983), was part travelogue, part contemporary history that drew material from his years reporting from the continent. Among other titles, Lamb also wrote “The Arabs: Journeys Beyond the Mirage” (1987), regarded as an important primer on the Middle East; “Stolen Season” (1991), a tribute to minor league baseball; “Over the Hills: A Midlife Escape by Bicycle Across America” (1996), about his 3-month bicycle journey from Washington, D.C. to Santa Monica, California; and “Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns” (2001), which coincided with a PBS documentary, “Vietnam Passage,” that he narrated and was shot by his wife Sandy Northrop.