Friday, August 31, 2018

A Moment of Silence - Remembering Bob Webb - A Founding Member of the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter

Bob Webb, along with Emil Dansker was one of the Greater Cincinnati Pro Chapter's founding fathers. 

On behalf of the chapter, thank you, Bob for your service and for making such a tremendous difference in Cincinnati! 

Love and prayers to Bob's family and friends. We send our heartfelt condolences upon hearing the news of his passing.

Robert (Bob) W. Webb, former Washington bureau chief for the Cincinnati Enquirer who was a major contributor to National Press Club programs during his 28-year membership, died Aug. 23 at Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center in Arlington, Va., where he had been a patient for 15 months. He was 89.

Myron Belkin, who served as the Club's president in 2014, said Webb "lived a very full life, and we were all blessed to know him through is active involvement in the National Press Club."

Until five years ago Webb was a frequent contributor to the Wire, covering Headliners Luncheons and other events he often helped coordinate.

Mesfin Mekonen, manager of the Club's Reliable Source restaurant, recalled that one of the many Club events Webb helped arrange was a 2008 Book Rap appearance by Rajnohan Gandhi, biographer and grandson of India's independence leader Mohandas Gandi. Mekonen said Webb was "a kind professional NPC member who supported the Club for many years. We will dearly miss him."

Webb's 30-year career at the Enquirer included working as an education writer, night city editor, political reporter, Washington bureau chief, news editor and editorial board member. He retired in 1993 as an editorial writer.

Before moving to Cincinnati, Webb was associate editor of the State Times in Jackson, Miss. He was born in Gulfport, Miss., where his parents were farmers, and at age 6 moved with his family to Columbia, Miss.

"It was there I finished high school determined to become a journalist," Webb said in an accounting he sent to Belkind in 2014. "One of my high school teachers had a huge part in that. She'd liked some of my writings and convinced me to enter a local contest, which I won. As well, I received the journalism prize at graduation. Clearly I was hooked."

He landed a job with the Tampa Daily Times after graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism but soon left for a more exciting five-year stint at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. From there he moved to the State Times in Jackson, where he met and married Virginia Patton. He said his life changed when he attended a retreat in Michigan that caused him to oppose racial segregation policies he has once defended.

While working in Cincinnati, Webb was a founder of and first president of the city chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Assignments took him to Asia, South America and the Middle East, and he maintained a keen interest in international affairs. He edited a newsletter for the World Affairs Council of Greater Cincinnati and was vice chairman of the Advisory Council of the International Communications Forum.

His stint as bureau chief covered the Nixon and Ford eras."Many of those he covered on the Hill had a deep fondness for him, feeling that he cared for them as people," said Dick Ruffin, a friend who said that the National Press Club "was in some ways his real home."

(Special thanks to Bill McCloskey for letting us know about Bob's passing.)