List of journalists killed in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Numerous journalists have been murdered or killed in the United States while reporting, covering a military conflict, or because of their status as a journalist. At least 39 of these have been directly targeted as a result of their journalistic investigations.[1]

The most dangerous sector of the US media after 1980 has been the race and ethnic press.[2][3] According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, ten journalists serving the Vietnamese, Haitian and Chinese immigrant communities were killed in political assassinations between 1980 and 1993.[4][5][6] Chauncey Bailey, who was the editor at a large circulation African American newspaper, was murdered in 2007 for his investigative reporting.[7]

Since the September 11 attacks, terrorism-related deaths involving journalists is another trend.[8][9]

In some cases, journalists have been attacked but survived, such as Victor Riesel.[10]


Date Name Employer Location Notes
November 7, 1837 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Alton Observer Alton, Illinois This abolitionist editor was killed by a pro-slavery mob.[11][12]
June 6, 1843 James Hagan Vicksburg Sentinel Vicksburg, Mississippi Hagan was killed in a duel by Daniel Weisiger Adams-the son of a man he had criticized in his newspaper.[13][14][15][16]
February 29, 1844 James A. Ryan Vicksburg Sentinel Vicksburg, Mississippi The Vicksburg Sentinel was a Democratic paper and Ryan was killed by his rival Whig counterpart in a duel on their second fight.[14]
September 15, 1848 John Jenkins Vicksburg Sentinel Vicksburg, Mississippi Killed in a fight with an attorney after the two had a previous altercation.[13]
June 22, 1854 Joseph Mansfield San Joaquin Republican Stockton, California Mansfield was killed in a fight with a rival editor, both of whom were Democrats.[17]
May 20, 1856 James King of William Daily Evening Bulletin San Francisco, California [18][19]
April 6, 1862 Irving W. Carson New-York Tribune Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee First journalist to be killed during the U.S. Civil War. Killed by a cannonball fire while covering the Battle of Shiloh and General Ulysses S. Grant.[20]
June 23, 1863 Lynde Walter Buckingham New York Herald Aldie, Virginia Killed as a result of an ambush during the U.S. Civil War. He was buried at the Mount Zion Old School Baptist Church-VDHR 53-339 in Aldie.[21]
October 6, 1863 James R. O'Neill Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper Baxter Springs, Kansas O'Neal was an artist-correspondent murdered by Quantrill's guerrillas at the Baxter Springs Massacre.[22]
May 6, 1864 Samuel Fiske (aka Dunn Browne) Springfield Republican Fredericksburg, Virginia Capt. Fiske wrote under the name Dunn Browne and served in the army and was mortally wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness.[23]
September 14, 1866 Ridgeway Glover Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming While covering the American Indian Wars, Glover was killed and mutilated during the construction of Fort Kearny in 1866.[24]
November 5, 1871 Frederick Wadsworth Loring Appleton's Journal Wickenburg, Arizona Was killed while on assignment out west in what is known as the Wickenburg Massacre, an attack on a stagecoach by Native Americans.[25]
June 25, 1876 Mark Kellogg Associated Press Little Bighorn Battlefield, Montana The first Associated Press journalist to die while reporting.[26]
March 27, 1877 J. Clarke Swayze Topeka Daily Blade Topeka, Kansas Swayze was killed after publishing a critical article about his murderer.[27]
April 23, 1880 Charles de Young The Daily Dramatic Chronicle San Francisco, California With his brother M. H. de Young, he founded the newspaper that would become the San Francisco Chronicle. The mayor's son killed him in revenge for a feud de Young had with his father.[28]
November 17, 1881 A. B. Thornton Boonville News Boonville, Missouri The town marshal killed Thornton because of criticism from the newspaper and won acquittal based on the perception that the criticism was too intense.[29]
March 27, 1884 Charles L. Kusz The Gringo and Greaser Manzano, New Mexico Shot through his window by unknown gunman on horses. His newspaper was reform oriented and created enemies as it sought changes.[30]
May 5, 1887 Roderick D. Gambrell The Shield and Sword Jackson, Mississippi Shot by Colonel Jones S. Hamilton for publishing allegations of corrupt business practices Hamilton was engaged in with the state of Mississippi. Hamilton was shot by Gambrell, but survived and was later acquitted of his murder by a jury.[31][32][33]
May 1, 1888 John H. Martin New Mississippian Jackson, Mississippi Shot in a street encounter with ex-Confederate General Wirt Adams, who was also shot and killed by Martin. Martin published numerous attacks on Adams's character in part due to his association with Colonel Hamilton, killer of the aforementioned Roderick D. Gambrell.[33][34] Wirt Adams was the brother of Daniel Weisiger Adams who 45 years before had killed a Vicksberg newspaper editor in a duel
February 1, 1891 Ignacio Martínez El Mundo Laredo, Texas Owned a newspaper that wrote critical articles on the regime of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz. His murderers fled to Mexico and were never arrested.[35]
February 23, 1891 Albert C. Osborne Sunday World Columbus, Ohio Killed in a shootout with William J. Elliott, a rival editor of the Sunday Capital, and Elliott's brother, Patrick. A bystander was also killed and a number of others wounded. Elliott was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment at Ohio Penitentiary.[36][37][38]
April 1, 1898 William Cowper Brann Iconoclast Waco, Texas Wrote critical articles about Baptists. Shot in the back during a duel.[39]
January 15, 1903 Narciso Gener Gonzales The State Columbia, South Carolina He was killed by James H. Tillman, the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, who was acquitted of murder by a jury.[40]
November 9, 1908 Edward W. Carmack Nashville American Nashville, Tennessee Former congressman and senator. He was killed by a former army officer who disapproved of his name appearing in an article and threatened the editor.[41]
December 25, 1915 Huang Yuanyong Shao Nian Zhong Guo Weekly San Francisco, California The Chinese national was murdered while visiting the United States. The case remained unsolved but Kuomintang (KMT) supporters were suspected of carrying out the assassination at the Shanghai Low restaurant.[42]
July 16, 1927 Don Mellett Canton Daily News Canton, Ohio Shot to death in his garage as a result of a conspiracy with a crime boss and the police chief of Canton.[1]
June 9, 1930 Jake Lingle Chicago Tribune Chicago, Illinois Killed in gangland-style by associates of Al Capone. In addition to his job as a reporter, Lingle was on the payroll of Capone's criminal organization.[43]
July 23, 1930 Jerry Buckley WMBC-AM Detroit, Michigan Gunned down on election night.[44]
September 6, 1934 Howard Guilford The Saturday Press Minneapolis, Minnesota Editor of a newspaper that exposed rampant corruption and organized crime in Minnesota involving Jewish mobsters such as Kid Cann and prominent local and state politicians, including Governor Floyd B. Olson. He and partner Jay Near won the US Supreme Court decision in Near v. Minnesota.[45][46]
December 9, 1935 Walter Liggett Midwest American Minneapolis, Minnesota He wrote about political corruption and organized crime, exposing links between Minneapolis Jewish mob leader Kid Cann and Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson. He is believed to have been killed on the orders of Cann, possibly with the knowledge or consent of Olson.[47][48]
January 11, 1943 Carlo Tresca Il Martello (The Hammer) New York City, New York Radical socialist newspaper editor and labor activist; believed to have been killed by a Mafia hitman.[49]
January 22, 1945 Arthur Kasherman Public Press (alternative) Minneapolis, Minnesota His death figured into Hubert Humphrey's mayoral victory.[50]
July 29, 1949 W.H. "Bill" Mason KBKI (AM) Alice, Texas Known as a crusading radio journalist in a county ruled with an iron hand by local law enforcement, Mason was shot dead by Sheriff deputy Sam Smithwick, who Mason had publicly accused of running a strip club. The senate candidate who lost to Lyndon B. Johnson believed that Smithwick had information about how the election had been rigged but Smithwick was hanged before their meeting. Mason's tombstone reads: "He had the nerve to tell the truth for a lot of little people."[1][51][52][53]
September 30, 1962 Paul Guihard Agence France-Presse Oxford, Mississippi Guihard was a British-French civilian who was killed during the civil rights era at the University of Mississippi. He was assigned to photograph the events surrounding James Meredith's attendance when he turned his focus on riots and in the confusion was shot. His murder remains an unsolved case.[54]
August 29, 1970 Rubén Salazar Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, California Salazar was killed by deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department while covering the Chicano Moratorium protest in East Los Angeles. The park where the protest took place was later renamed Salazar Park in his honor.[55][56]
June 2, 1976 Don Bolles Arizona Republic Phoenix, Arizona Murdered by a car bomb. Initially assumed to have been a mafia hit,[57][58][59] three local men were later convicted of his death. The motive was determined to have been feared exposure of involvement in a land fraud scheme.[60][61][62]
March 9, 1977 Maurice Williams WHUR-FM Washington, D.C. He was murdered during the 1977 Hanafi Siege.[63]
June 28, 1978 John A. Kelly WHDH-TV Boston, Massachusetts Killed during the Blackfriars Massacre.[64]
July 21, 1981 Duong Trong Lam Cai Dinh Lang (The Village Temple) San Francisco, California Killed by gunfire from a member of one of two anti-communist groups that claimed responsibility for his assassination.[5][6][65][66][67][68]
August 24, 1982 Nguyen Dam Phong Tu Do (Freedom) Houston, Texas Was assassinated at his home by an anti-communist group.[5][6][65][66][69]
June 19, 1984 Alan Berg KOA (AM) Denver, Colorado A liberal radio show host who was murdered by a white nationalist group.[70]
October 15, 1984 Henry Liu (a.k.a. Chiang Nan) Freelancer and author Daly City, California A critic of the Kuomintang who was assassinated on the orders of the Kuomintang.[71]
August 9, 1987 Tap Van Pham (a.k.a. Hoai Diep Tu) Mai Garden Grove, California He was assassinated by arson while sleeping in his office by an anti-communist group that took responsibility.[5][6][65][66]
November 22, 1989 Nhan Trong Do Van Nghe Tien Phong Fairfax County, Virginia A layout designer who worked with Triet Le, he was the first employer of the Vietnamese-language magazine to be assassinated.[5][6][65][66][72]
September 22, 1990 Triet Le Van Nghe Tien Phong Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia A columnist of controversial content for the same Vietnamese magazine that employed Nhan Trong Do. Assassinated.[5][6][65][66][72][73]
February 18, 1991 Jean-Claude Olivier WLQY-AM (1320) Little Haiti, Miami, Florida A colleague of D'Or, he was known for his controversial commentary and was assassinated on his way to his car.[74][75]
March 15, 1991 Fritz D'Or WLQY-AM (1320) Little Haiti, Miami, Florida A colleague of Olivier's at WLQY, he was assassinated as he left a club.[74][76]
March 11, 1992 Manuel de Dios Unanue El Diario La Prensa Queens, New York City, New York Murdered by Colombian drug traffickers for writing about drug trade.[77][78]
October 24, 1993 Dona St. Plite WKAT Little Haiti, Miami, Florida St. Plite was attending a benefit for former colleague Fritz Dor when he was also assassinated for supporting Jean-Bertrand Aristide.[74][79]
August 19, 1997 Dennis Joos Colebrook News and Sentinel Colebrook, New Hampshire Joos, the editor of the News and Sentinel, was at work when 62-year-old Carl Drega entered the building and shot a local judge (whose office was located in the same building as the News and Sentinel). Joos attempted to disarm Drega but was fatally shot. Drega, who had earlier killed two state troopers in a parking lot, then fled to Bloomfield, Vermont, where he wounded four more troopers in a shootout before being killed by police.[80]
October 18, 2000 James Edwin Richards Citizen journalist, editor and publisher Venice, Los Angeles, California Richards was murdered at his Oakwood neighborhood home in the neighborhood where he had established himself as a citizen crime reporter.[81][82]
September 11, 2001 Bill Biggart Freelance photographer Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York Killed while photographing the rescue effort outside the World Trade Center before the tower collapsed.[83]
October 5, 2001 Robert Stevens Sun Boca Raton, Florida Murdered as one of the media targets of the 2001 anthrax attacks less than a month after 9/11.[84]
August 2, 2007 Chauncey Bailey The Oakland Post Oakland, California After investigating corruption and criminal activities connected to Your Black Muslim Bakery, Bailey was murdered on his way to work by an associate of the bakery.[1][7]
August 26, 2015 Alison Parker WDBJ 7 Moneta, Virginia Parker, a reporter, and Ward, a photojournalist, were shot on live television by one-time colleague Vester Flanagan while interviewing a subject about tourism.[85]
Adam Ward
May 30, 2018 Zachary Stoner Citizen journalist Chicago, Illinois Stoner, a music journalist who ran a YouTube channel covering the Chicago hip hop scene and life in his community, was shot and killed while leaving a concert. Stoner's murder remains unsolved.[86]
June 28, 2018 Gerald Fischman The Capital Annapolis, Maryland Five employees (four journalists and a sales associate) of The Capital were murdered during the Capital Gazette shooting in the newspaper's office. The suspect in the shooting, Jarrod Ramos, had held a grudge against the newspaper since it published a story about his guilty plea in a criminal harassment case in 2011.[87] Hiassen was an editor and columnist, Fischman was an editorial columnist, Winters was a features journalist. McNamara was a sports reporter for the Capital and the editor for the affiliated weekly Bowie Blade-News. Also killed in the shooting was Rebecca Smith, a sales associate for Capital Gazette Communications.[88][89][90][91][92]
Rob Hiaasen
John McNamara
Wendi Winters
April 25, 2021 Aviva Okeson-Haberman KCUR-FM Kansas City, Missouri Okeson-Haberman was an investigative political reporter for National Public Radio. She was killed by a bullet that entered her apartment through a window.[93]
September 3, 2022 Jeff German Las Vegas Review-Journal Las Vegas, Nevada German, an investigative journalist, was stabbed multiple times outside his home.[94] On September 7, Clark County public administrator Robert Telles was arrested as the suspect in German's murder.[95] German had written an investigative series about alleged mismanagement in Telles' office, and Telles had lost a primary election for his position that June.[96]
February 22, 2023 Dylan Lyons Spectrum News 13 Pine Hills, Florida Lyons, a television news reporter for Spectrum News 13, was shot and killed while filming a story on a homicide that happened earlier that day. His colleague, photographer Jesse Walden, was injured but survived. The police arrested the suspect in the original homicide, who is expected to face murder charges for allegedly committing the first homicide, the shooting of the journalists, and a later shooting in which a woman was injured and her nine year old daughter was killed.[97][98][99][100]

Other journalists and media workers killed on 9/11[edit]

The only professional, working journalist to die while covering the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City was photojournalist Bill Biggart, who was killed by falling debris as he was taking photographs.[101][102] However, the International Federation of Journalists, which also counts media workers, said that six other media workers and a journalist who were not working at the time died in the attacks. Among those media workers listed as killed were six broadcast TV engineers, who worked inside a tower, and another professional photojournalist, who was a passenger on the first plane that was flown into the WTC.[103]

  • Rod Coppola, TV engineer for WNET-TV, WTC (North Tower)[104]
  • Donald DiFranco, TV engineer for WABC-TV, WTC (North Tower)[104]
  • Steve Jacobson, TV engineer for WPIX-TV, WTC (North Tower)[104]
  • Bob Pattison, TV engineer for WCBS-TV, WTC (North Tower)[103][104]
  • Thomas Pecorelli, professional freelance photojournalist, American Airlines Flight 11 passenger[103]
  • Isias Rivera, TV engineer for WCBS-TV, WTC (North Tower)[103][104]
  • William Steckman, TV engineer for WNBC-TV, WTC (North Tower)[104]


See also[edit]


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