Crash kills renowned journalist 

David Halberstam, a renowned author, Pulitzer Prize-winner and Vietnam War-era journalist, died Monday morning in a car accident near the Dumbarton Bridge. He was 73.

The San Mateo County Coroner’s Office confirmed Halberstam was the sole fatality in a three-car accident.

The crash took place at 10:35 a.m. Monday at the intersection of westbound Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road, Menlo Park Police spokeswoman Nicole Acker said in a news release. All three drivers suffered major injuries, she said.

There have been reports that the driver of Halberstam’s car was broadsided while attempting to make a left turn, but Acker and the coroner’s office said that they are withholding additionalinformation pending further investigation.

Halberstam, a New York resident, was in the Bay Area for a speaking engagement.

A prolific author, Halberstam is well known for "The Best and the Brightest," in which he describes the origins of the Vietnam War. As a reporter for the New York Times, he covered the war extensively and earned a Pulitzer Prize for his work.

He delved into the world of sportswriting with "Summer of ’49," a look at the pennant race that year between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

James Bettinger, director of the John S. Knight professional journalism fellowships program at Stanford University, said that he often refers to Halberstam’s works in his teachings.

"He was one of the early people to say that the official line we were getting about Vietnam was not accurate," Bettinger said.

"It’s a great loss," Lowell Bergman, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, said. "There aren’t a lot of independent reporters around that can make a good living, get a great audience and stand up for what they believe."

tramroop@examiner.com

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