Eugene Patterson

Stalwart editor

As a skinny 21-year-old tank commander about to enter the Battle of the Bulge, Gene Patterson heard survival advice from the lips of General George S. Patton himself. The gist of it was, When fired upon, advance! This legendary Southern journalist, who died Jan. 12 in St. Petersburg, Fla., at 89, never stopped advancing. At the side of Ralph McGill, his mentor at the Atlanta Constitution, he won a Pulitzer Prize for defending free speech. He rightly regarded as his masterpiece his deadline column about the four children killed in the 1963 Birmingham, Ala., 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Gene hired...

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