Dick Roraback, a colorful feature writer and copy editor at The Times for 22 years, has died. He was 68.
Roraback, who retired from The Times in 1995, died Saturday in Woodland Hills of throat cancer, after a yearlong battle.
He also had been sports editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris from 1957 to 1972. His verse ode to an expatriate's longing for baseball, "The Crack of a Bat," is reprinted by that paper every year around opening day.
An adventurous soul, Roraback helped refugees escape from Hungary after the 1956 uprising against Communist rule. He was captured by Hungarian authorities and imprisoned for several weeks until the U.S. State Department negotiated his release.
He returned to the United States at that time but was soon drawn back to Paris, as he put it, "by hearing an Edith Piaf song."