The Great R.W. Apple, journalist and travel writer for the New York Times for decades, died earlier this week. His final story, “The global gourmand” was published on Thursday.
The New Yorker published this great profile of “Johnny” Apple in 2003.
He began his career with The Wall Street Journal in the 1950s, covering business and social issues, including the early years of the American Civil Rights Movement. He served as a journalist and speechwriter in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959, and returned to the Wall Street Journal after completing his service.
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Apple joined the New York Times in 1963, and over more than 30 years, contributed foreign correspondence from over 100 countries, including coverage of the Vietnam War – where his penetrating questioning helped expose the unreliability of the military briefings known as the “Five O’Clock Follies” – the Biafra crisis, the Iranian revolution, and the fall of Communist governments in the Soviet bloc. In addition, he served as the Times’ bureau chief in Saigon, Lagos, Nairobi, London and Moscow.
From 1993 to 1997 he was the bureau chief in Washington, D.C., which is considered the newspaper’s most prestigious reporting assignment. He also served as the New York Times‘ National Political Correspondent in the 1970s.
In addition to his reporting career, Apple was widely known as an expert on food and wine, and has lectured on those as well as political, social, and historical topics on several continents. He was the recipient of a number of honors and fellowships, including the Chubb Fellowship at Yale University. He was the chair of the Rhodes Scholarship selection committee for the U.S. mid-Atlantic region.