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Columnist David Broder, 81, earned reputation for fairness

Washington Post columnist David Broder, a regular on NBC’s Meet the Press, earned a name for even-handedness.

Getty Images (2005)

Washington Post columnist David Broder, a regular on NBC’s Meet the Press, earned a name for even-handedness.

WASHINGTON — David Broder, the prize-winning Washington Post political columnist whose even-handed treatment of Democrats and Republicans set him apart from the ideological warriors on U.S. opinion pages, died Wednesday (March 9, 2011). He was 81.

Washington Post officials said Mr. Broder died of complications from diabetes.

Mr. Broder was familiar to America television viewers as a frequent panelist on NBC television's Meet the Press. He appeared on the program more than 400 times, far more than any other journalist in the show's history.

A September 2007 study by the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters found that Mr. Broder was second only to conservative George Will in the combined circulation of newspapers in which his column appeared. He was the only one of the top five that the group did not label as either conservative or liberal.

"His even-handed approach has never wavered. He'd make a good umpire," wrote Alan Shearer, editorial director of the Washington Post Writers Group, which syndicated Mr. Broder's column. "Dave is neither left nor right and can't even be called reliably centrist. He reports exhaustively and his conclusions are grounded in hard facts."

David Salzer Broder was born Sept. 11, 1929, in Chicago Heights, Ill., to dentist Albert "Doc" Broder and Nina Salzer Broder. He married Ann Creighton Collar in 1951 before being drafted into the U.S. Army. While in service, he wrote for the U.S. Forces Austria Sentinel until his discharge in 1953.

From 1955, Mr. Broder worked for the Congressional Quarterly for 4 1/2 years and developed a taste for covering congressional politics. The publication was then owned by the Times Publishing Co., which owns the St. Petersburg Times and tampabay.com.

He went on to work for the New York Times before joining the Washington Post in 1966.

Mr. Broder was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for distinguished commentary about the Watergate scandal.

He is survived by Ann, his wife of 59 years, their four sons and seven grandchildren. He lived in Arlington, Va.

An honest look

A column from May 1992 shows David Broder's unflinching look at his own — and the nation's — failure to help heal the scars of racism. 11A

Columnist David Broder, 81, earned reputation for fairness 03/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 9:13pm]
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