DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Jim Bishop, a nationally syndicated columnist for 27 years and author of best-selling books about Jesus Christ, John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, died of respiratory failure Sunday. He was 79.
His thrice-weekly newspaper column, "Jim Bishop: Reporter," was carried by more than 200 newspapers at its peak.
Bishop began his newspaper career in 1929 as a copy boy for the New York Daily News.
He once said he liked "lean little sentences, " and referred to his work as "a glassy, superficial style and a seasoned touch for saying a lot in a few words."
Among his 21 books were profiles of Lincoln, Christ, Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. that focused on a day in their lives. His last book, "A Bishop's Confession," was as much personal memoir as professional autobiography. A review in The Times in October, 1981, described it as "a full, warm, real, touching reminiscence of a writer's library-educated ascent."
Bishop spent 24 years collecting notebooks to produce the popular book "The Day Lincoln Was Shot," released in 1955. It sold about 3 million copies and was translated into 16 languages.