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OBITUARIES | Passings | Ian Ellery Brodie

British journalist reported on U.S.

May 19, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ian Ellery Brodie, 72, a British journalist who covered the United States from the 1960s to the end of the century and, for a time, lived in Topanga Canyon and ran the local newspaper, died of a stroke May 8 at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

Working for the Daily Telegraph and later the Times of London, Brodie reported on the 1968 assassinations of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and years later on "hanging chads" in the 2000 presidential election.

He also was a Vietnam and Moscow correspondent, and traveled to China ahead of President Nixon's groundbreaking visit in 1972.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1975, he covered the political career of Ronald Reagan, the aerospace industry and the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

Living in Topanga Canyon, he became publisher of the then-new local paper, the Topanga Messenger. The paper was foundering after its first year, and Brodie pumped $10,000 of his own money into it.

A Los Angeles Times story from the era noted that he began making changes, including the purchase of a secondhand computer and the use of modern printing facilities.

Brodie was born in Bath, England, and grew up in Luton, England. He left school at age 16 to work first as a tea boy, then as a reporter for a local newspaper. After two years in the British Army, he worked at a Luton news agency before moving to London's Fleet Street, where he worked for the Daily Sketch and the Daily Express.

He served a short stint as editor of the Scottish Daily Express before moving to Los Angeles. In 1986, he and his family moved to Washington, D.C., after he was appointed bureau chief for the Daily Telegraph.

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