The San Mateo County coroner’s office has confirmed to The Observer the death of David Halberstam, the journalist and author, in a car crash this morning in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Earlier reports, including one from the Associated Press, described the accident as a collision. Mr. Halberstam’s car, which was being driven by a student at the University of California at Berkley’s Graduate School of Journalism, was broadsided by another. The student was hospitalized, but identified Halberstam.
Halberstam had been a speaker on Saturday at the school.
The precise cause of death, the coroner told The Observer, is still under investigation, though earlier reports named internal injuries.
Three others were reportedly injured in the accident which took place near the Dumbarton Bridge.
The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of The Best and the Brightest was 73 years old.
Halberstam’s reporting on the Vietnam War was reportedly a topic in Bill Moyers’ upcoming documentary, ‘Buying the War,’ about the American press and the run-up to the war in Iraq.
“We circled the wagons,” Mr. Moyers told USA Today, recalling his days in the Johnson administration in an interview printed this morning. “We didn’t want to listen to the (CBS’) Morley Safers and (the Associated Press’) Peter Arnetts and (The New York Times’) David Halberstams reporting on the ground.
“There’s a tendency in Washington government to deal with your own view of the world without being contradicted by mischief-making journalists.”
USA Today added: “During the buildup to Iraq, he says, very few journalists made mischief, and those who questioned the administration’s motives were largely ignored.”
Halberstam won his Pulitzer in 1964, for his reporting on the Vietnam War.