Anthony Insolia, Who Led the Expansion of Newsday, Dies at 98

Anthony Insolia, a down-to-earth former editor of Newsday who presided over that Long Island newspaper’s expansion and several big investigative projects, died on Saturday in Philadelphia. He was 98.

His death, in a hospice, was confirmed by his stepdaughter, Robin Ireland.

Mr. Insolia was the editor of Newsday from late 1977 until his retirement 10 years later, a period when the newspaper, a tabloid owned then by the Times Mirror Co., won seven Pulitzer Prizes, expanded its foreign reporting staff to multiple far-flung bureaus and solidified its reputation for hard-hitting, streetwise journalism close to home.

But it was an undertaking a year before he took charge of Newsday that was among his most significant journalistic accomplishments: what came to be known as the Arizona Project, a pioneering effort in collaborative journalism across many news organizations.

Mr. Insolia, who was Newsday’s managing editor at the time, was the story editor on the project, which was mounted in response to the murder of an Arizona reporter, Don Bolles, in 1976.

The scene in Phoenix of a 1976 car bombing in which the Arizona investigative reporter Don Bolles was killed while investigating links between politicians in the state and organized crime. Mr. Insolia was a top editor in a collaborative effort across news organizations that investigated the killing. Credit…Associated Press

Mr. Bolles was fatally injured when his car was blown up in a Phoenix parking lot in June 1976 as he was investigating ties between Arizona politicians, businesses and organized crime. A then-fledgling organization, Investigative Reporters and Editors, or I.R.E., assembled a team of 38 journalists from 28 news organizations under the leadership of the Newsday reporter and editor Robert W. Greene to look into the circumstances of the killing and, as he put it, to make people “think twice” about killing journalists.

Back to top button