Longtime newspaper publisher Virgil Pinkley, who headed United Press operations in Europe in World War II before his publishing career, died in Las Vegas on Friday at the age of 86.
Pinkley was the founding publisher of the Los Angeles Mirror, which became the Mirror-News when the Los Angeles Daily Mirror folded in 1954. He served as the Mirror publisher until 1957. The afternoon daily was owned by Times-Mirror Co. and closed in 1962.
A former editor of the USC Trojan, Pinkley worked his way to Europe on a cattle boat and got a job with United Press in London in 1929. He returned to Washington for United Press for a few years before returning to Europe, where he covered the Berlin Olympics and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.
During World War II he crisscrossed Europe, Asia and Africa, traveling 175,000 miles and visiting 43 countries in three years.
The San Bernardino native was a United Press vice president when the late Norman Chandler appointed him to head the Mirror.
Pinkley authored a book, “Eisenhower Declassified,” based on his long association with President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
After his Mirror career he was publisher for several newspapers, including a chain of publications in the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass areas and the Glendale News Press in 1980.