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Ben H. Bagdikian dies at 96; journalist who helped publish the Pentagon Papers

Ben H. Bagdikian, a renowned journalist, newspaper executive, media critic and professor who helped publish the Pentagon Papers and for decades was a passionate voice for journalistic integrity, has died. He was 96.

His wife, Marlene Griffith Bagdikian, said he died Friday morning at his home in Berkeley.

His five-decade career in journalism was adventurous. In the 1950s he covered the civil rights struggle, including the Little Rock school integration crisis, and rode with an Israeli tank crew during the Suez crisis.

In the 1970s, he obtained the Pentagon Papers — a secret history of U.S. strategy and involvement in Vietnam — for the Washington Post from Daniel Ellsberg.

In 1976 Bagdikian joined the journalism faculty at UC Berkeley. He later became dean of the graduate school of journalism, retiring in 1990.

news.obits@latimes.com

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