Editor’s note: Here is The Chronicle’s obituary on Lloyd Watson, a former colleague, by Carl Nolte. I’m glad Carl mentions that I remembered him fondly.
Lloyd Watson, who was a reporter and columnist on The Chronicle’s business pages for more than 44 years, died Sept. 2 at a San Francisco hospital.
Mr. Watson, who had been in failing health for some months, died 10 days before his 92nd birthday.
As a writer for The Chronicle, Mr. Watson reported on the Bay Area’s business culture and executive moves. He was noted both for his connections in the business community and for his direct and clear writing style.
“He made it simple and easy to follow,” said Ernest Beyl, an author and longtime friend. “His column was the best-read thing in the business section.”
Mr. Watson started at The Chronicle as a copy boy in January 1949, and was soon promoted to reporter. He worked with business editors Sidney Allen and, later, Donald White. In 1956, he began a business column that ran in various forms up to the time he retired in 1993.
He was also a mentor to younger reporters. Jeff Pelline, who now writes a blog from the Sierra foothills, remembered him fondly. Gavin Power, now an official at the United Nations, said that Mr. Watson was not only a fine journalist, but also a bon vivant.
“He was the most cultured, refined person I’ve ever known,” Power said. “He believed every gentleman should own a tuxedo, have a pair of patent leather shoes and keep a chilled bottle of Stoly in the refrigerator.”
John Hudson, an old friend, said Mr. Watson had a deep knowledge of and love for art and music. “He had an encyclopedic knowledge of music, from classical to jazz and pop music, and had a 3,000-record collection of all the best, in pristine condition,” he said.
Lloyd W. Watson was born in Toronto in 1925. He attended the University of Toronto and worked briefly for the Toronto Globe and Mail before joining The Chronicle. He lived in San Francisco for 68 years, much of the time in a small apartment in Chinatown.
He is survived by a brother, Ronald, of Ontario. Plans for a memorial service are pending.