By Wayne Futak
Bay City News

Richard Henry Fogel, co-founder of San Francisco’s
Bay City News Service, died Wednesday in Thousand
Oaks. He was 86.
 
An advocate on issues relating to the public’s right
to access government information, Fogel worked
with other journalists and news organizations
across the country to craft the basic principles of
what would later become the landmark Freedom of
Information Act.
 
Fogel — regarded as a legend among San Francisco
Bay Area journalists — received the prestigious
Northern California Radio-Television News Directors
Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
 
Born April 29, 1923, in Santa Monica, Fogel was the
younger of two sons of Moe Miller Fogel and Syndie
Aileen Gardner Fogel. Fogel enrolled at Stanford
University in 1941 but deferred his education to
enlist in the U.S. Army after the Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor. During World War II, he saw action in
Italy’s North Apennines and Po Valley campaigns,
where he served as a gunner on a 155 mm “Long
Tom” field gun in the 530th Field Artillery Battalion,
Fifth Army.  
 
After the war, Fogel returned to Stanford University,
where he served as night editor for the Stanford
Daily and interned as a reporter for the San
Francisco News. Fogel graduated with a bachelor’s
degree in journalism in 1947 and worked as a
correspondent and staff writer for United Press
International.
He moved to Oakland in 1948 and joined the
Oakland Tribune as a copy editor. He worked his
way up through the ranks over the next three
decades, ultimately serving as the paper’s executive
editor.
Along with his wife Marcia Schwalbe Fogel,
business partner Wayne Futak and associate Joann
Sutro, Fogel in 1978 launched Bay City News, a
regional wire service dedicated to local coverage of
news and events throughout the greater San
Francisco Bay Area.
BCN’s first big story was covering the
assassinations of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey
Milk and Mayor George Moscone.
For 30 years in his capacity as the wire service’s
owner and editor, Fogel mentored a new generation
of aspiring reporters, instilling in them the
journalistic ethical principles of truthfulness,
accuracy, fairness and objectivity. BCN continues to
play a role in providing balanced and accurate news
to Bay Area television, radio, and print media
outlets.
He received numerous awards for excellence in
journalism, including the James Madison Freedom of
Information Career Achievement Award, the Public
Service Award for Distinguished Reporting on the
Administration of Justice from the State Bar
Association of California, the Contra Costa Press
Club Award, and the Editor and Publisher Newspaper
Promotion Award.
Fogel is survived by his wife of 60 years, Marcia
 
Fogel; daughter Vicki Fogel Mykles; sons Richard
Henry Fogel, Jr. and Jonathan Miller Fogel; and
grandchildren Rebecca Morrison Fogel, Christopher
Kjell Mykles, and Andrew Morrison Fogel.
 
Memorial contributions may be made to the Richard
H. Fogel Memorial Fund for Excellence in Journalism
through Stanford University’s Office of Development,
Gift Processing, 326 Galvez St., Stanford, CA 94305-
6105 or giving.stanford. edu .
 
Services are pending.

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