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Walt Stewart, 71; Sketch Artist at Trials From Ruby to Stayner

December 10, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Walt Stewart, 71, a courtroom artist whose sketches of notorious criminal trials have been a staple of national television news for decades, died of chronic lung disease Nov. 27 at his home in Bolinas, Calif.

Media outlets, particularly TV stations, counted on his work to illustrate proceedings where cameras were banned from the courtrooms. His first case was the 1964 trial of Jack Ruby, the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald; his last was the penalty phase of the trial of Cary Stayner last summer.

Stewart also covered the Patty Hearst bank robbery trial and trials of Unabomber Theodore J. Kaczynski, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and Charles Manson.

The San Francisco native grew up in Berkeley. He graduated from the University of the Pacific and the Art Center College in Los Angeles.

His archive of work -- tens of thousands of sketches -- will be donated to the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley.

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