Donald Hill, a retired senior editor and correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty whose half-century career also included working for newspapers in Virginia and serving as vice president for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, has died. He was 85.
Don, as he was known to friends and colleagues, died in Prague on April 23 of complications from Parkinson's disease.
At age 65, when many people already enjoy retirement, Don joined RFE/RL in Prague in 1995. During his time at RFE/RL, he distinguished himself with his elegant writing and crisp editing. He retired from his position in 2005 at age 75.
After a stint with the U.S. Army in Germany and Korea, Don took a job with The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia. Assigned to the maritime beat, he soon showed the skill as a wordsmith that would be a hallmark of his career in journalism. He authored an award-winning series of stories chronicling his adventures while hiking the length of the James River, from its headwaters in western Virginia to the sea. He rose to become city editor for the newspaper.
Don later became Washington bureau chief for Landmark Communications, a newspaper chain that included The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star, as well as the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Roanoke Times, both in Virginia. A highlight of his tenure in Washington was his coverage of the Watergate hearings that led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon on Aug. 9, 1974.
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