Steve Daley, Chicago Tribune journalist at 62, October 2, 2011

Like the best reporters, Steve Daley could talk to anyone about anything, but unlike a lot of daily scribes, he could also write about anything.

In his 20-plus years as a journalist — including 15 at the Chicago Tribune — he covered sports, media and politics, even the occasional music review.

“Even when he started out in sports, he was a guy who always had a huge interest in everything,” said Mr. Daley’s friend, Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. “He was just somebody whose mind was broad enough to understand that everything is everything else. The distinction between sports and politics really isn’t that big.”

Mr. Daley died Sunday after being admitted to Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., said his wife, Jane Daley. The cause of death was unknown Monday. Mr. Daley was 62.

Mr. Daley — who was born in Corning, N.Y., in 1948 — started doing free-lance pieces while working as a bartender at the Class Reunion bar in Washington, D.C. He went on to write for the Peninsula Times Tribune in Palo Alto, Calif., where Schmich was also a writer in 1980. At the Chicago Tribune, he covered sports, media, the U.S Congress and Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns, among other assignments.

“Steve Daley was maybe the wittiest, most incisive, most see-through-the-bull---- kind of person and journalist I’ve known,” said another friend, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carol Marin.

From the mid-1990s on, Mr. Daley worked in public relations in Washington, D.C., specializing in helping companies deal with media enquiries, his wife said.

“He did have an affinity for the written word,” Jane Daley said. “He loved reading books, magazines — you name it. He was a great writer. He could turn a phrase that would hit you in the gut, make you laugh or make you cry.”

Daley began at the Tribune in 1981 as a sports columnist and became a media columnist in Tempo in 1985.

Steve Daley In His Own Word article>
Attribution: Chicago Tribune By Stefano Esposito

Steve Daley, journalist and consultant
Emily Langer, Washington Post, Published: October 12

Steve Daley, 62, a journalist who covered Congress and national politics for the Chicago Tribune before working in public relations, died Oct. 2 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington.

The Arlington resident had sepsis, his wife, Jane Richards Daley, said.

Mr. Daley moved to Washington in the late 1980s, when he became the Tribune’s national political correspondent. Hired as a sports reporter in 1981, he had also been the paper’s television and media critic.

In 1996, Mr. Daley left the Tribune to work for the public relations firm Porter Novelli, where he became a senior vice president specializing in media training. Two years ago, he formed his own public relations business, Steve Daley Communications.

He continued writing about politics, media and other issues for publications including the Huffington Post Web site and the Columbia Journalism Review.

“What exists in cable-ville now,” Mr. Daley wrote in CJR in January after MSNBC dropped “Countdown” anchor Keith Olbermann, “is a set of armies storming across open ground, interrupting, smirking, and eyeball-rolling to the cheers of their partisans, left and right.”

Stephen Dennis Daley was born in Corning, N.Y., and received an associate’s degree from a community college there before earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from American University in 1971.

After college, he took freelance assignments while bartending at the Class Reunion, a popular Washington hangout for politicians and journalists. His first full-time journalism job was as a sports reporter with the Palo Alto Times in California, where he worked until he was hired by the Tribune.

Since 2007, Mr. Daley had taught graduate courses in opinion writing and crisis communications at Johns Hopkins University.

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