Journalist and novelist Tom Wicker died on 25 November 2011 at the age of 85. The cause was a heart attack.
Tom Wicker was born in Hamlet, North Carolina on 18 June 1926. It was when he was working on his high school newspaper that he decided to become a journalist. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. Afterwards he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served at various North Carolina newspapers. Eventually he became the Washington, D.C. correspondent for The Winston-Salem Journal. In 1959 he became associate editor on The Nashville Tennessean. In 1960 James Reston hired him as one of The New York Times' Washington bureau. In 1964 he was named chief of The New York Times' Washington bureau. In 1968 Tom Wicker became an associate editor at The New York Times.
Tom Wicker also wrote several books. He wrote ten non-fiction books, the first being Kennedy Without Tears: The Man Beneath the Myth in 1964. His other non-fiction books included On Press (1978), One of Us: Richard Nixon and the American Dream (1991), and Shooting Star: The Brief Arc of Joe McCarthy (2006). He also wrote ten novels. His first novel, Get Out of Town, was published under the pen name Peter Connolly. He published two more novels under the pseudonym. His first novel published under his given name was The Kingpin (1953). His 1961 novel The Judgement would provide the basis for the controversial episode of Bus Stop "A Lion Walks Among Us." His novel Facing the Lions (1973) would spend 18 weeks on The New York Times list. His 1984 novel Unto This Hour spent 15 weeks on the list.