Neil Morgan, one of the greats of San Diego journalism — maybe the greatest — died Saturday, February 1, at 89 years of age. He was a skilled writer who could praise San Diego but also give it a few kicks when necessary. He also wrote a number of books and did a lot of travel writing.
He came to San Diego with the Navy, and in 1946 began writing for the now-defunct San Diego Journal. In 1950, the paper was bought by the Evening Tribune, and some say the main reason for the purchase was for the Tribune to get Neil Morgan. He was columnist and eventually editor-in-chief of the Tribune, and was associate editor and senior columnist of the Union-Tribune when the Union and Tribune merged in the early 1990s.
In 2004, the Union-Tribune abruptly fired Morgan. He threatened a lawsuit and wound up with a generous settlement. One of the top officials of Copley Newspapers admitted to me that the move was abysmally handled. (The firing was under the Copley regime, not under current management.) Morgan went on to aid in the founding of Voice of San Diego.