A friend of the Bulletin's recently passed away.
Ed Howard wrote hundreds of informative opinions about state issues from his beat at the capital building in Lincoln. His perspective offered Bulletin readers vital information about vital state news.
Howard and I became acquainted in 1998, when I was editor of the Lexington Clipper-Herald. He was doing some freelance reporting and offered his services to the Seacrest-owned chain of newspapers that included the Clipper and the North Platte Telegraph, among others.
I jumped at the chance to work with him. I would suggest a story that might be covered in Lincoln. We'd discuss it, and off he'd go.
Soon, it was written.
Together we presented a report of a Lexington surgeon whose license was under review by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, a particularly controversial but important story to the community.
Howard and I formed a mutually respectful relationship that continued for nearly 15 years. Howard's nebraska.statepaper.com was a complementary publication to the Bulletin. We often shared stories with each other.
For years, Howard provided all the papers in Nebraska with his weekly "Capital View," one of the keenest state opinions. He understood the issues and the underlying currents in the ebb and flow of events.
He was highly respected by his colleagues and he influenced his state for the better, goals to which every writer aspires.
Don Walton of the Lincoln Journal Star described him "a vivid writer and colorful figure in Nebraska journalism for four decades."
And that's putting it mildly.
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Howard worked for The Associated Press for most of his career, including stints in Columbus, Ohio, and New York City, before becoming Capitol correspondent for the AP in Lincoln in the mid-1970s.
In recent years, he wrote for the online StatePaper.com and authored columns for the Nebraska Press Association that were published in 65 newspapers.
“Ed was a wonderful writer and a true wordsmith,” Allen Beermann, executive director of the Nebraska Press Association, said. “He understood the issues, and he understood the players. He could cut to the chase very quickly.”
Howard was blunt, witty and sometimes acerbic as he surveyed Nebraska’s political and governmental scene.
“He could be very biting at times,” Beermann said, “but he also was a writer who gave credit when credit was due, and he had a softer heart than most people probably realized.”
Howard was born in Springfield, Ohio, on Sept. 3, 1948.
While still in high school, he began his writing career as a part-time reporter at the Springfield News-Sun.
Howard was transferred to Omaha in 1971 and was named correspondent in charge of the AP’s Lincoln bureau in 1974 at the age of 25.
Howard is survived by his wife, Cynthia, and two children, Kate Howard of Arlington, Va., and Edward M. Howard of Raleigh, N.C.