Muckraking SF columnist Warren Hinckle dies at 77: RIP

Editor’s note: When I went to work at The Chronicle in the ’80s as one of their youngest reporters, Warren Hinkle (with his eye patch) and his dog were a fixture in the newsroom — at least when he showed up. My approach as a business writer was more button down. I learned there are things they don’t teach you about the trade at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Warren entertained and amused his readers for generations. RIP.

“Warren Hinckle, a happily hard-drinking swashbuckler of San Francisco journalism who mixed leftist leanings with an everlasting contempt for the powerful, died Thursday,” as the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting. “He was 77.

“Mr. Hinckle had been in declining health and died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in San Francisco, said his daughter Pia Hinckle. He was surrounded by his family.

“From his groundbreaking days of editing the iconic liberal magazines Ramparts and Scanlan’s Monthly in the 1960s and ’70s to his reliably irreverent columns for newspapers, including The Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, Mr. Hinckle delighted in tweaking anyone in charge of anything and muckraking for what he fiercely saw as the common good.

“As the years went on, Mr. Hinckle was known as much for being a character of the city as for the journalism he produced. With his ever-present basset hound, Bentley, in tow, Mr. Hinckle held forth at watering holes and strip clubs, tossing off one-liners in a low growl like a late-night comic.

“Along the way, the one-eyed rapscallion — he’d lost his left eye in a childhood car accident and wore a patch — drew the wrath of mayors, police and anyone who got in his way, and he reveled in it.

“’He had a great, great time, and no regrets,’ said Pia Hinckle, who followed her father into a writing career. ‘He never looked back, and he was always looking for the next thing to do.’

“The funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at SS Peter and Paul’s Church, 666 Filbert St., San Francisco. The public is invited.

“Donations in Mr. Hinckle’s name may be made to St. Mary’s Medical Center Foundation.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

One thought on “Muckraking SF columnist Warren Hinckle dies at 77: RIP”

  1. My God what a character! From Hunter Thompson to the strip clubs, all while walking his Basset Hound—- what a life.

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