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Robert Pear, a reporter whose understated demeanor belied a tenacious pursuit of sources and scoops for the duration of his 40 years at The New York Instances covering overall health care and other crucial national challenges, died on Tuesday in Rockville, Md. He was 69.

This is from Sam Roberts, “Robert Pear, a Mainstay Instances Reporter in Washington, Dies at 69,” New York Instances, May perhaps eight, 2019.

The only factor I like about the above paragraph is Roberts’s use of the word “died” rather than the euphemistic “passed away.” (I don’t forget, at age 19, dictating my mother’s obituary, hours right after she had died, to the individual on the other finish of the telephone at the Winnipeg Totally free Press and saying “Norah Henderson died.” “Excuse me,” mentioned the individual, “don’t you imply ‘passed away’.” “No,” I mentioned, “I imply ‘died.’” My mother had written it. She knew what she wanted.) I really feel sad that he died at age 69.

When I was the senior economist for overall health policy with President Reagan’s Council of Financial Advisers, Pear known as me to obtain out what I knew about some secretive meetings I was in, just just before the November 1982 mid-term elections, to figure out approaches of reforming Medicare and Medicaid to give sufferers superior incentives and reduce the development of spending. In his 1st day on the job, the Tuesday right after Labor Day, 1982, Martin Feldstein had produced it clear to us that we have been not to speak to the press. So when Pear called–somehow he had heard about the meetings–to ask me about the meetings, I told him the stricture I was below. He was pretty polite and accepted that. He was so good to me that I let my guard down a tiny and told him that even though I discovered his reporting amazingly precise, he misunderstood the financial goal in creating employers’ contributions, more than some cap, to employees’ overall health insurance coverage taxable. It wasn’t primarily about income, I mentioned, but about incentives. He thanked me. Then I realized that I had blown it. Right here I was speaking to the press. So I mentioned, “Oops, I blew it. I understand that you are below no obligation, but I would appreciate it if you would neglect that I mentioned it.” “Ok,” he mentioned. And my comment to him never ever showed up in his subsequent articles, all of which I study for the subsequent practically two years.

I was normally amazed by his precise reporting on meetings I was in. I knew I wasn’t leaking. Who was?

Pear seemed so seasoned that I was shocked this morning to study that, when I talked to him in 1982, he had been with the NY Instances for only a year.

Aside: Note, by contrast, how Spencer Wealthy of the Washington Post dealt with me.