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Apr-02-2012 12:52printcomments

Veteran Salem-News.com Writer Henry Clay Ruark Passes Away in Seaside

At 94, 'Hank' Ruark was America's oldest working journalist.

Hank's photo, taken in December 2009 in front of his son Loren's live truck in Eugene, Oregon, offers a hint of this reporter's connection to a whole generation of younger Ruarks in news today.
Hank's photo, taken in December 2009 in front of his son Loren's live truck in Eugene, Oregon, offers a hint of this reporter's connection to a whole generation of younger Ruarks in news today.

(SEASIDE, OR) - It is a sad day in our newsroom today, as we regretfully announce the passing of our longtime writer, Henry Clay Ruark. He passed away early this morning in his sleep at the age of 94.

From our humble beginning in 2004, Henry, or 'Hank' as we often called him, has been a dedicated member of our team, Salem-News.com's Op-Ed Writer. He taught us many things personally, about life, the perception of human value, and he imparted a way of thinking with regard to this nation, our state, the economy, and the unscrupulous motives of some who manipulate our financial future with selfish intent.

Henry Ruark spent his life as a reporter. His career dates all the way back to the 1930's, and Hank is responsible for a whole family of Oregon journalists today.

His son Loren Ruark is one of Oregon's most active and dedicated television news photojournalists; his son Jeremy is a news director in TV in central Oregon. His other sons, Leslie and Nick, were also very close to their dad. Few writers take into account what Hank did, he was consistent and kind, and overwhelmingly intelligent. Hank began his news writing career in the state of Maine at a newspaper, and finished his long-spanning career with our agency, we were very lucky to have him.

It was always important to me, that Henry was a dedicated American who frequently referenced our forefathers in his writings, retaining the fundamental points made at the country's inception. He watched his country go to World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq twice and Afghanistan, Bosnia, etc. He always knew what we were supposed to be doing, even if those in control of the decision making process failed to realize.

A truly beautiful man, Hank Ruark

At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.

Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for tenyears.

He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.

View Henry Clay Ruark's several hundred articles at this link: Hank Ruark on Salem-News.com


Tim King in 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from The Associated Press the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs, Electronic Media Association and The Red Cross In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005.

Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 20+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide with an emphasis on Palestine and Sri Lanka, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the U.S. Marines. You can write to Tim at this address: tim@salem-news.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)

View articles written by Tim King

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Richard L. Matteoli May 18, 2012 1:27 pm (Pacific time)

RIP Mr. Ruark. Always enjoyed your work. Your family and Salem-News greatly benefited from you being you.

Kiflu Hussain April 5, 2012 9:01 am (Pacific time)

He led a life well lived exercising it to the hilt with the power of a pen.May he rest in eternal peace.

April 4, 2012 11:24 am (Pacific time)

Hank was a fantastic person, far better than I

Marianne Skolek April 3, 2012 11:49 pm (Pacific time)

My sympathy to Hank's family. I always enjoyed hearing from Hank in our working together. May he soar with the angels.

M. Dennis Paul, Ph.D. April 3, 2012 6:50 pm (Pacific time)

It is not so much that good men pass on...it is more the good these men passed on to those around them. Henry will be fondly remembered for all of that...and more. Good going and good passing..and good bye, Hank!

Agron Belica April 3, 2012 5:27 pm (Pacific time)

Rest in peace brother...sending prayers out for Henry Ruark and his family

Ananymous April 3, 2012 1:42 pm (Pacific time)

Rest in peace. We the readers, will miss your stories.

G 2/3; April 3, 2012 1:14 pm (Pacific time)

RIP Henry,you'll be missed.

Jim Price April 3, 2012 11:17 am (Pacific time)

So long, Hank. I'm sure going to miss our visits. Particularly those about the current state of affairs in journalism. We had so much left to talk about.

Douglas Benson April 3, 2012 4:00 am (Pacific time)

RIP Henry.

Natalie April 2, 2012 7:08 pm (Pacific time)

Rest in peace, Hank Ruark. I’ve learned quite a few fancy adjectives and half-page mind blowing grammatical structures from you. You’ll be missed.

Anonymous April 2, 2012 6:20 pm (Pacific time)

Rest in peace Hank Ruark. I shall miss our exchanges. Irv Rosenberg

The Kings April 2, 2012 3:22 pm (Pacific time)

Hank, we loved working with you, we will miss your stories, your email and comments, the occasional phone call that allowed us to strategize and plan future stories. 

You were an inspiration to all of us and proved that even as the human body ages, the mind does not always.

There are only a few people like Henry Clay Ruark, he was a great person who taught us many things..

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