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Vermont Royster, Pulitzer Prize winner

Vermont Royster, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who helped shape the Wall Street Journal into the nation's business daily, has died at age 82.

Mr. Royster, who presided over the newspaper's editorial page as editor from 1958 until 1971, died Monday at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community.

He won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for editorial writing. In 1986 he won a second Pulitzer for distinguished commentary. That same year, President Reagan gave Royster the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for his contributions to journalism and communications.

By the time Mr. Royster left his editing position at the Journal in 1971 to become a professor of journalism and public affairs at the University of North Carolina, the newspaper's circulation had topped 1-million. He was named editor emeritus, continuing to write his weekly column, "Thinking Things Over," until 1986.

"Vermont was a marvelous thinker," said Richard Cole, dean of the School of Journalism at UNC. "He liked to cogitate and ruminate, and then when he made up his mind about an issue, he pounded the typewriter hard."

Vermont Connecticut Royster was born in Raleigh. His given names were the same as his those of his grandfather, whose own father named his children after states in the union.

After beginning his journalism career at the Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper at the University of North Carolina, he landed a part-time job at the Journal in 1936.

He worked his way up from a reporter to the positions of Washington correspondent, Washington bureau chief, editorial writer, and editor. He also served as a Dow Jones director and senior vice president.

_ Some information in this obituary came from the Associated Press and the New York Times.

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