Saturday, October 29, 2011

Don Mozley - RIP - One of My Heroes

Don Mozley died a couple of days ago, and I am going to miss him. I knew Don over the last couple of decades as a lively and welcome presence at meetings and events with the Western Automotive Journalists (WAJ) --an automotive writers group that he helped found 20 years ago. But he was much more than that.

Don was a broadcaster--one of the great ones, starting out at just 21 years old reporting on early World War II events and the atomic bomb tests at Bikini in the Marshall Islands. He covered presidential campaigns in the 1950's through 1960. He then worked for KCBS in San Francisco for many years, including 15 years as news director. His automotive stories, which ran up to this month, include the long-running California Driver series and Don Mozley's Auto Test.

Don was one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. He was also quite funny. I have his last email to me from October 18th. In response to the cancellation of a WAJ meeting, Don replied:

"Gee--you didn’t need to cancel it just because I would be in London. Best--DM"

The sad thing is, that trip to England would be his last. Always active, Don died at Heathrow Airport of an apparent heart attack on his way home.

I have long said that I plan to live actively to 90. Don Mozley did that--and had a full life the whole time. That's why he's one of my heroes, and I can't believe he's gone.

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