Richard Beebe Dudman (born May 3, 1918) is an American journalist who spent 31 years with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch during which time he covered Fidel Castro’s insurgency in Cuba, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, the Watergate scandal, the Iran-Contra scandal and wars and revolutions in Latin America and the Middle East, in addition to the Far East. He served as chief of the Washington bureau during the 1970s which landed him on the master list of Nixon political opponents.
Dudman was born in Centerville, Iowa. He majored in journalism and economics at Stanford University, where he wrote for the school paper, graduating in 1940. During World War II, he served in the merchant marines, dodging German submarines in the North Atlantic. He joined the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1942 and served four years, becoming executive officer of his ship.
He started his journalism career at the Denver Post, where he wrote for four years before joining the Post-Dispatch in 1949. Dudman reported on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. He reported that he had seen an entrance bullet hole in the windshield of the presidential limousine. In May 1970, he was captured by the Viet Cong and held captive in Cambodia, an experience he wrote about in his book Forty Days With the Enemy. A few days after his release, he and his wife would host a young Bill Clinton who was working in Washington for the summer as part of Project Pursestrings.
On his last day as Washington bureau chief, in 1981, he ran up Connecticut Avenue to cover the shooting of President Ronald Reagan. He moved to Maine after retirement, but continued to work for the Post-Dispatch. From 2000-2012, he was the Bangor Daily News’ senior contributing editor. In 1993, he won the George Polk Career Award.
- Forty Days With the Enemy
- Men of the far right
- Dateline: Vietnam
- "Pol Pot - brutal, but no mass murderer" New York Times, August 17, 1990
- "After 76 years of newspaper writing, BDN contributing editor says farewell". 2 July 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
- "Dudman turns 95: A reflection on a great American reporter". Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- Clinton, William (2005). My Life. Vintage. p. 229. ISBN 1400096715.
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