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Wayne Woodlief, NF '66

Wayne Woodlief, NF '66

Longtime Boston Herald political columnist and 1966 Nieman Fellow Wayne Woodlief died on Aug. 12 at the age of 82.

A graduate of Duke University, he began his journalism career as a sportswriter and later a city politics reporter for the Ledger-Star in Norfolk, Va. He then moved on to join The Virginian-Pilot/Ledger-Star’s Washington, D.C., bureau.

In 1974, Woodlief became the Boston Herald-American’s Washington correspondent. He was promoted as the newspaper’s political editor in 1977 but missed the beat and returned to reporting.

He covered every U.S. presidential campaign from 1968 to 2004 and was especially proud of the interviews he conducted with U.S. Rep. Manley Caldwell Butler during the Watergate scandal.

As Boston Herald colleague Rachelle Cohen noted in an appreciation: “… we who knew him are left with memories — of a colleague who was dogged in his pursuit of politicians and of a good story, who used that gentle southern drawl of his to mask the most probing of questions and who loved the craft of journalism more than any human being I’ve known.”

Woodlief is survived by a son, Mark Wayne; a daughter, Rawn Woodlief Ugwuoke; six stepchildren and seven grandchildren.

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