Richard Porter Nall, 72; Retired L.A. Times, Daily Pilot Journalist

Times Staff Writer

Richard Porter Nall, a retired Los Angeles Times copy editor and former assistant managing editor of the Orange Coast Daily Pilot, died Thursday after battling long-term effects of a stroke. He was 72.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Nall worked in California newspapers from Brawley to San Diego in a career spanning nearly 40 years, beginning in 1955 as a reporter with the Imperial Valley Press in El Centro.

In his later years, Nall became a newsroom father figure to young staffers at the Daily Pilot. He would have cub reporters fetch his cigars and perform other duties, and would invite them to his Laguna Beach home where he served as a writing coach.

In 1937, he moved to Manhattan Beach with his parents, Roly Porter Nall and Anne Kendall Nall, and graduated from Redondo Beach High School in 1947. He attended Oregon State University, where he was a football lineman. He continued his education at the University of Missouri, majoring in journalism.

In 1952, Nall enlisted in the U.S. Army and served three years in Germany with an intelligence unit.

After the military, he had a succession of newspaper jobs in El Centro, eventually serving as Imperial Valley bureau chief for the San Diego Union. He also worked at the Daily Breeze in Torrance and was managing editor of the Brawley Times.

He established the Daily Pilot's Laguna Beach office in 1966 and later became assistant managing editor.

In 1980, he joined the Orange County edition of The Times as a copy editor, and retired in 1993.

Nall was a member of the Society of Professional Journalists -- formerly known as Sigma Delta Chi -- the Orange County Press Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elks and the Kentucky Colonels Assn.

He is survived by his widow, Teresa Carrillo Nall; son Richard P. Nall Jr.; and a brother, Charles, of Laguna Woods.

No memorial service is planned.

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