SUBSCRIBE

Digby Diehl dies at 76; former L.A. Times book editor helped celebrities tell their stories

Digby Diehl, a journalist, critic and prolific author who helped celebrities such as Bob Barker and Natalie Cole tell their stories, has died at age 76.

Diehl had Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Kay, said. He died Sept. 26 in Los Angeles.

Known as a collaborator as much as an editor, Diehl was the first editor of the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review, a position he held until he was named editor-in-chief at Harry N. Abrams Inc., the New York publishing house.

Diehl returned to Los Angeles as the book editor for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and then became a movie critic and entertainment editor for KCBS-TV Channel 2, remembered — among other things — for his trademark bow tie.

He also became a regular collaborator and co-writer for the famous and influential.

He teamed up with Bob Barker to help write the game show host’s memoir, “Priceless Memories.” He helped singer Natalie Cole write her autobiography, “Angel on My Shoulder.” And he worked with Teddy Getty Gaston, the last wife of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, to write “Alone, Together.”

Diehl also helped pull together “A Spy for All Seasons,” the memoirs of former FBI Deputy Director Duane R. Clarridge, a key figure in the Iran-Contra affair.

Born Nov. 14, 1940, in New Jersey, Diehl graduated from Rutgers University.

Later in life, Diehl became a literary correspondent for “Good Morning America” and a book columnist for Playboy and AARP magazines.

Over the decades, he wrote for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Esquire, People magazine and Cosmopolitan.

He is survived by his wife and a daughter, Dylan Diehl.

steve.marble@latimes.com

Twitter: @stephenmarble

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times