Remembering The Chronicle’s award-winning science writer David Perlman

As I noted last week, David Perlman, the award-winning science writer at San Francisco Chronicle, died at age 101 (…/David-Perlman-award-winning-C…) All of us who worked with Dave at The Chronicle admired him. He was a mentor to the writers in their 20s (including me in the 1980s).

“Perlman covered the 1969 moon landing from near Mission Control, and he and his late Chronicle colleague Randy Shilts were among the first journalists in the nation to write about a mysterious disease that was later named AIDS. He covered climate change, earthquakes, solar eclipses and the extinction of species, and his interest in protecting the Marin County coast was credited with inspiring the creation of the Point Reyes National Seashore.” (see Pacific Media Workers Guild newsletter

“As City Editor in the late ’70s, he directed the coverage of two shattering events — the People’s Temple mass suicides in Guyana in 1978 and the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk at San Francisco City Hall 11 days later.”

Last week, The Guild newsletter published a video made on Dave’s last day at the Chronicle in 2017, 77 years after he started there: After nearly seven decades of reporting, David Perlman, 98, retires from the San Francisco Chronicle.

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 Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

One thought on “Remembering The Chronicle’s award-winning science writer David Perlman”

  1. Thanks, Jeff, for posting this sad news about Dave Perlman. I had the great honor of working with him at the Chronicle as an intern on a fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. I was a science Ph.D. student from the Midwest who was totally without experience in writing science for the public. But Dave Perlman gave me a master class in short order and I had an unforgettable experience. Despite being one of the true greats of popular science writing, Dave was one of the most decent, honorable and humble people I have ever met. He had a lightening quick mind and was an astute listener and was a great mentor. I wish everyone could be a Dave Perlman. He is missed.

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