Former foreign correspondent Hal McClure, who covered two Arab-Israeli wars for The Associated Press, died in California at the age of 92.
McClure’s death was announced by his sister, Virginia McClure, who explained her brother died on Sunday at a Laguna Hills hospital. He recently underwent surgery to relieve a blood clot in his brain from a recent fall.
During his career, McClure spent 21 years overseas for the AP, starting in the mid-1950s. His passions included travel and the written word, making his job as a correspondent perfect.
Stan Walsh, a longtime friend, explained that McClure’s journalism career was put on hold when he served in the Air Force as a pilot and flight instructor. But Walsh stated, “When he got out of the service, his goal was to get a newspaper job and get married.”
And McClure did both. Shortly after he was discharged, he received a job offer from a small newspaper in Central California. He also wed his sweetheart, Dorothy. The McClures’ marriage lasted almost 50 years, until Dorothy died several years ago.
Soon after, the AP offered him a job covering Hollywood. While it wasn’t the position he was hoping for, Hal McClure accepted, hoping one day he would be sent overseas. And soon he got his wish.
McClure’s first foreign assignment was in Singapore. After that, he was appointed to a correspondent position in Malaysia, where he covered the 1961 mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller, son of New York governor Nelson Rockefeller.
Then, the AP correspondent was transferred to Turkey in 1962, a post that allowed him to take charge of reporting on Israel and Cyprus. He covered several major stories during that time, including the 1964 visit of Pope Paul VI to the Holy Land — the first of any pontiff.
His last post was as chief of bureau in Newark New Jersey. Hal McClure then retired from The Associated Press and became a film documentarian, traveling around the world with his wife. During their travel breaks, the couple gave lectures and showed their short films.
McClure continued to work well into his 90s and published his autobiography, Adventuring, last year. Hal McClure is survived by his sister and funeral arrangements are pending.
[Image via ShutterStock]