Leon Daniel Obit


LEON DANIEL OBIT (United Press International)

Leon Daniel, 36-year UPI veteran, dies

GLEN ELLYN, Ill., March 21, 2006 (UPI) -- Leon Daniel, who worked for United Press International for 36 years before retiring as a chief correspondent in 1993, has died at the age of 74.

Daniel died Sunday from a blood clot in his lungs, a condition related to a stroke he suffered two years ago, Judith Paterson, his longtime companion, said.

Daniel was assigned to 11 bureaus around the world during his 36 years for UPI. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, including for coverage of the Vietnam War. His position as chief correspondent had him covering events and seeking untold angles to important issues from around the world.

Born in Etowah, Tenn., Daniel joined the U.S. Marine Corps at age 19 and fought in the Korean War. He joined UPI in 1956 and reported extensively on the civil rights movement, which he said was the most important story he covered.

That reportorial career included a first-hand account of men training for the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Vietnam War and later the Gulf War.

After he retired, Daniel still offered his analysis of events, writing in the op-ed page of the Chicago Tribune last September, that the United States' invasion of Iraq "has landed the U.S. squarely in the middle of a raging war that may prove unwinnable and bears a remarkable resemblance to a Vietnam-style quagmire."

Daniel is survived by Paterson, his daughter the Rev. Lillian Daniel, a grandson and a granddaughter.

A memorial service is scheduled for April 1 in Washington with burial in Arlington National Cemetery.