Last night, Texas lost one of the most provocative and thoughtful journalists ever to walk the halls of the state Capitol. Sam Kinch, a veteran of the Dallas Morning News and founder of Texas Weekly, died last night after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer. I met Sam when I was a student at the University of Texas and interned for the Dallas Morning News in the mid-Seventies. No mentor has ever been so generous with his knowledge and enthusiasm. His kindness continued when I returned to the Capitol — working for his competition, the Dallas Times Herald. Sam possessed a boundless sense of fun, but he also worked harder than any reporter I’ve ever known. I learned this firsthand when I left the Herald and began filling in for Sam on his month-long, annual vacations. (He and his wife, Lilas, were world travelers). Publishing Texas Weekly was a grueling, demanding task. Sam had exacting standards. He sweated every mistake. I’ll remember Sam for his ridiculous ties, gutter humor and humanity. Gov. Ann Richards once stopped in her tracks when I told her I was filling in for Sam: “Then you have to tell me a dirty joke. Sam always has a dirty joke for me.” Finally, I’ll remember Sam as a man who lived his Christian faith (I don’t think he could keep a dollar in his pocket if he knew someone in need ) in how he treated everyone, especially elected officials. He treated everyone with the same irreverence, but underlying respect. He loved everyone and that informed his reporting.
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Weekly dispatches from the middle of the road of Texas politics.
- The Hero Myth of Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo
- The Houston Years of George Floyd
- “I Can’t Believe This Is America”: On the Front Lines With the Volunteers Tending to Austin’s Injured Protesters
- In Amarillo, a Mexican Restaurant Named “Big Beaners” Provokes Controversy
- A New Texas COVID-19 Tracker Offers a Ton of Useful Information
- A Q&A With the Organizer of the Black Lives Matter March in Vidor
- BBQ News Roundup: Supporting Black Pitmasters and Mourning Louisville’s David McAtee
- Remembering Bobby Morrow, the Texas Sprinter Who Was Once the World’s Fastest Man
- The Best and the Bums: Streets of Rage
- Hollywood, Texas: Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, and Lizzo Lend Their Voices to National Protests