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Volume 60, Number 15    December 2, 2013         

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In Memoriam

Raul Ramirez
Journalism Lecturer Raul Ramirez died of cancer Nov. 15 in his Berkeley home. He was 67 years old. Ramirez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1946 and moved to South Florida with his family in 1962 after his parents became disillusioned by Fidel Castro's failure to fulfill his promises. Intending to improve his English skills, Ramirez enrolled at the University of Florida at Gainesville, where his lifelong passion for journalism was sparked. He earned his B.S in journalism in 1970.

Ramirez began his career in the 1960s and reported for notable outlets such as the Miami Herald, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Examiner. In 1991, he became KQED Public Radio's news director and was later promoted to executive director for news and public affairs. During his 22 years at KQED, he was instrumental in building it into a top-rated public radio station with an award-winning state and regional news service.

In 1983, Ramirez became a lecturer at SF State, where he taught for more than 30 years. He was a very popular and admired lecturer who infused his students with his great enthusiasm for journalism and his commitment to diversity.

Before passing, Ramirez gave a generous gift of $25,000 to create The Raul Ramirez Diversity in Journalism Fund, which will support an annual award to honor a journalism student whose work exemplifies the importance of diversity in all journalistic endeavors and in the community. Ramirez hoped that those wishing to honor his memory would contribute to the fund.

Ramirez is survived by his husband, Tony Wu, his sister, Miriam Gargiulo, brothers Michael Greenhill and Eduardo Ramirez, three nephews and three nieces.

A memorial service is being planned and will be announced later. Read KQED's obituary for Raul Ramirez. Ramirez passed away before accepting the 2013 Distinguished Service to Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter; Professor of Journalism Jon Funabiki accepted the award and delivered his acceptance speech, which appears on the KQED blog.


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Last modified November 27, 2013 by University Communications.