Former Houston Chronicle night editor dies at 68

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Associated Press

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — A former Houston Chronicle night editor who also oversaw a Pulitzer Prize-winning project in Jackson, Miss., has died in Houston.

Lee Cearnal was 68.

His daughter, Gretchen Cearnal-Botha, says her father was found dead in his Houston apartment on Tuesday. She says police believe he suffered a sudden massive heart attack, but the cause of death hasn't been conclusively determined.

Friends and colleagues of Cearnal remember him as a hardcore journalist always determined to uncover the truth.

Charles Overby was executive editor of The Clarion Ledger in Jackson when it won the Pulitzer for public service in 1983. He remembers Cearnal as "fair but tough" with reporters and a journalist who wouldn't take no from a news source or his reporters.

Cearnal is survived by his daughter and two granddaughters.

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