Bruce Locklin, a 1978 Nieman Fellow, died in Cranbury, New Jersey, on Oct. 24, 2022, after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 84.
In 1973, Locklin became one of the nation’s first full-time investigative news editors at The Record in New Jersey as newsrooms looked to expand their investigative reporting teams in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
As reported in The Record: “The newspaper’s then-owner, Malcolm Borg, after attending an American Press Institute seminar on investigative reporting at Columbia University, asked Locklin to develop an investigative unit that combined rigorous reporting that would be vetted by teams of lawyers before publication.” Recalling Locklin’s enthusiasm and work ethic, Borg said: “He was relentless and a hound dog in the best sense.”
Locklin uncovered corruption and criminal behavior in politics, business and beyond, and he often shared his reporting techniques when asked to speak to other newsrooms.
He was known for interviewing the subjects of his investigations at length to hear their response to his findings and to establish their motives.
Locklin received a number of awards for his journalism. In addition to his Nieman Fellowship, he received a fellowship from the Alicia Patterson Foundation to study organized crime.
Born in Boston in 1938, Locklin moved to Long Island with his family when he was a teenager and graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, with a degree in philosophy.
He began his work in journalism at newspapers in Rockland and Westchester counties in New York before taking an editing job with The Paterson Morning Call. He later moved to the paper’s sister publication, The Record.
After retiring from The Record in 1997, Locklin began a career in elder fitness.
He leaves his wife, Barbara Hoffman, a former editor at The Record and longtime arts editor of The New York Post who met her husband in The Record’s newsroom, and their son Sam. Locklin also had three children —Garth, Douglas and Liane — from a previous marriage.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to:
The Visiting Nurse Association Health Group Hospice, c/o Foundation Office, 23 Main St., Suite D1, Holmdel, NJ 07733.