Robin Toner, Groundbreaking Times Correspondent, Dies at 54

toner121208 Robin Toner, Groundbreaking Times Correspondent, Dies at 54The New York Times correspondent Robin Toner has died at age 54, according to a Times obituary by Todd S. Purdum.

Mr. Purdum writes that Ms. Toner was "the first woman to be the national political correspondent" for the paper:

In a career of nearly 25 years at The Times, and in an age of increasing specialization, Ms. Toner reported authoritatively on almost every domestic issue, whether it was taxes, welfare, Social Security, immigration or health-care policy.

And in a craft in which small errors are commonplace and bigger mistakes a regular occupational hazard, Ms. Toner devised a meticulous personal method for checking and re-checking names, dates, facts and figures in her own raw copy, a step few reporters take. As a result: only half a dozen published corrections over the years, on more than 1,900 articles with her byline.

On his Atlantic-hosted blog, Jeffrey Goldberg offers some memories of his friend, calling her "one of the best reporters in Washington, and also one of the best mothers in Washington… Robin was a genius of reporting, in fact; she almost never got anything wrong, she understood almost everything, and she knew almost everybody."