Former Oregonian staffer Peter Carlin sent this email on Monday:
The Oregonian’s longtime editorial editor Bob Caldwell, who was city editor for eight years before that and a real old-fashioned, kick-ass journalist in every respect, died of a heart attack on Saturday. The O won its Pulitzer for editorials under Bob’s guidance. He was a great guy, a fantastic editor and funny as hell.
The Oregonian’s story said Caldwell “was known all over the building for his big smile and a bigger laugh” and that “more information will be published as it becomes available.”
That information came late Monday. From Carlin:
Holy shit, there’s this too on Bob Caldwell’s death. It just broke on Oregonlive.
The headline on the link he sent was: “Bob Caldwell was with 23-year-old Tigard woman when he went into cardiac arrest.”
The story said the woman called 911 after 63-year-old Caldwell started coughing and then was unresponsive after a sex act. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
“The woman told deputies she met Caldwell about a year ago at Portland Community College,” the Oregonian reported. “Caldwell, she said, knew she didn’t have much money, so he provided her cash for books and other things for school in exchange for sex acts at her apartment. Caldwell had not given her money Saturday, she told deputies. They decided against pursuing prostitution charges.”
The paper told readers: “The Oregonian previously erroneously reported that Caldwell had been found in his parked car on Saturday, based on information from a family friend.”
Carlin sent this at 12:55 a.m. CT Tuesday:
I’m just hoping there’s still room to discuss the guy’s work. However seamy his end, he was a fantastic newsman and one of the real gutsy, honest guys out there. Used his authority to bring up generations of journalists. Fought for good things at the paper and in the state. I hate to think all that gets ignored because of his gothic, and admittedly disturbing, end.
Caldwell is survived by his wife and three daughters.
* Caldwell was with 23-year-old woman when he went into cardiac arrest
* First story: Robert Caldwell, editorial page of the Oregonian, dies
* Bob Caldwell: A life in journalism
* “His heart and soul was in newspapers from the beginning,” says his mom