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Former AP Correspondent McKinley Dies, , , ,
GlynnCounty.com
  1. St. Simons Island
  2. Brunswick
  3. Jekyll Island

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Former AP Correspondent McKinley Dies

Former AP Correspondent McKinley Dies

2/27/2008

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) Webb McKinley, a former Associated Press foreign correspondent and news executive, has died of complications from a stroke, his family said Wednesday. He was 90.

McKinley died Tuesday at his home on Jekyll Island, daughter Judy McKinley said.

"He was larger than life," she said. "He was one of the only Western journalists who had access to the Shah of Iran and the king of Jordan."

McKinley had a 35-year career with the AP starting in the Detroit bureau in 1948 before becoming a foreign correspondent in the Rome bureau in 1953.

He later moved to the Istanbul bureau in 1957 and became chief of Middle East services in Beirut in 1960. McKinley returned to the U.S. in 1965 when he was named the AP's World Services news editor based in New York.

During his service overseas, Douglas Webster McKinley interviewed the Shah of Iran, King Hussein of Jordan, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia and Anwar Sadat of Egypt. He also interviewed actresses Sophia Loren and Katherine Hepburn and two-time Tour de France winner Fausto Coppi of Italy.

McKinley was born in Bay City, Mich., on May 26, 1917. He became a major in the Army at age 27 and took part in the D-Day Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.

Richard Pyle, who was an AP correspondent in Vietnam during the war, worked with McKinley in New York.

"Webb was a physical fitness guy before a lot of people did that," Pyle recalled on Wednesday. "I remember he told me he ran several miles before breakfast every day. He was a pleasant laid-back but highly professional type guy who never got overly excited, even when news was breaking fast. He knew his way around the Middle East, I know that."

Pyle said he and McKinley were hired by Stan Swinton, a former AP vice president, because they were from his home state of Michigan.

Swinton liked to talk about the "Michigan Mafia" in AP, "of which he was self-appointed head," Pyle said.

"He was one of the coolest characters you could think of," said George McArthur, a retired AP foreign correspondent who worked with McKinley in the Middle East in the 1960s.

McKinley's wife, Martha, died in 1993 at age 69.

McKinley is survived by four daughters Judy of Montpelier, Vt., Martha Kissick and Jane McKinley of Falls Church, Va. and Mary McKinley of Ogden, Utah six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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