Journalism has lost one of its prized reporters. The Los Angeles Times reports that George Ramos, who helped the California newspaper win a Pulitzer Prize in 1984, died this past Saturday. The cause of the 63-year-old’s death is still to be determined, but a local reporter who was trying to reach him said he had diabetes.
Early on during his time at the LA Times (from 1978 to 2003), Ramos co-edited the Latino project, a 27-part series about Latinos in Southern California. The series won the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize. Frank Sotomayor, a former Times editor who worked alongside Ramos on the series, described Ramos as “a very strong street reporter.” “He knew Los Angeles very well,” Sotomayor said. “He was able to talk to people and get their stories.” In addition to Ramos’ work on the Latino project, the reporter also contributed to the paper’s Pulitzer-Prize winning coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
Ramos graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. According to the LA Times, he served in the United States Army from March 1970 to Sept. 1971. In addition to his career as a journalist, Ramos was also known for being a mentor to younger, aspiring journalists. He served two terms as president of CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California. “His impact as a mentor is something I don’t know if we can calculate,” said Steve Padilla, an assistant editor at The Times.