Douglas Kiker; Veteran NBC Washington Correspondent
Veteran NBC News correspondent Douglas Kiker, who spent the last 28 years covering Washington politics, died Wednesday in Cape Cod, Mass.
NBC spokeswoman Katherine McQuay said Kiker died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack while vacationing at his summer home. He was 61.
His most recent responsibilities with the network included reporting for the “NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw.”
Tributes to Kiker were made by everyone from President Bush to Michael Gartner, the president of NBC News. Longtime colleague John Chancellor said: “Doug was stubborn as a mule and smart as a whip. He loved good writing, the good life and good friends.”
In his 25-year career with NBC, Kiker covered the Vietnam War, Watergate, President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation, and conflicts in the Middle East and Northern Ireland.
He also had been a principal reporter for “NBC Magazine With David Brinkley” before Brinkley left the network in 1981.
He won the prestigious Peabody Award for his coverage of the war in Jordan in 1970.
Prior to working for NBC, he was White House correspondent for the old New York Herald Tribune. In 1963, he was riding in the Dallas motorcade with President John F. Kennedy when Kennedy was fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Early in his career, Kiker spent 15 months as director of information for the Peace Corps and traveled extensively throughout South America, Malaysia and Thailand. He also spent a year as Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal.
Kiker was a native of Griffin, Ga., and began his career in journalism after serving in the Korean War. He wrote several novels, including “Stranger on the Shore,” and “The Southerner.”