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Thomas E. Sellers, 60; Retired Editor for Times

September 20, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Thomas E. Sellers, former deputy business editor of the Los Angeles Times' Orange County edition, has died. He was 60.

Sellers, who retired from The Times in 2002, died Thursday while swimming in a city pool in Seal Beach. An autopsy was scheduled for Friday, said Sellers' wife, Karen.

Hired as editor of The Times' Southeast / Long Beach suburban sections in 1988, Sellers became deputy business editor of the Orange County edition in 1995, a job he held until his retirement.

"He loved training and working with young reporters," said Russ Stanton, The Times' senior deputy business editor and a former Orange County edition business editor.

"There are probably two generations of reporters scattered around the country who cut their teeth working with Tom.

"From a management standpoint, he was really the best guy to work with -- extremely easygoing. And when things got tough, he could rattle off a funny line and reduce the tension."

Born in Indianapolis on July 1, 1943, Sellers earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

He worked as a reporter and night city editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from 1966 to 1968, followed by eight years as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News.

He then served as night city editor, business editor and city editor of the Seattle Post - Intelligencer from 1976 until coming to The Times in 1988.

In addition to his wife of 23 years, he is survived by three children, Joy Marschall, of Yosemite, Greg, of Austin, Texas, and Michael, of Seal Beach; his parents, Sara Louise and John, of Franklin, Ind.; and a brother, Robert, of Munster, Ind.

Services are pending.

The family suggests memorial donations be made to a charity of one's choice.

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