Robert Browning ’73

3 May 2021
Robert Browning

Class: 1973

Major: History

Residence: Whittier, CA

Deceased: May 1, 2021


Deceased 05/01/2001

Whittier, CA resident Robert “Bob” Browning, who was an editor at the Whittier Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times during his 37-year career, has died.

Born in Pasadena, Browning, 69, died Saturday, May 1, from complications from a longstanding lung disease.

He spent most of his 37 years as a copy editor and was named L.A. Times Copy Editor of the Year in 2005 for his work as the sole copy editor on a series of stories that detailed how Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center provided care so poor that it sickened and imperiled some patients.  The series won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

The job was a perfect fit for him, his wife, Judy said.

 “Getting into copy editing turned out to be the perfect job for his talents,” she said. “I don’t want to say he was nit picky but he liked details. He wanted to be sure the details were correct. It sort of became a calling.”

Barbara Tarshes, who worked with Browning at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, called Browning “one of the most interesting people I’ve known.”

The two, along with his wife, shared a love of musical theater, Tarshes said. The three had season tickets at the Music Center and regularly attended the Oregon Shakespeare festival.

Although born in Pasadena, Browning’s parents moved to Whittier where he grew up.

After graduating from Whittier’s California High School, he went to Carleton College in Minnesota and received a bachelor’s degree in 1973 in history.

After graduating, Browning wasn’t sure what he wanted to do for a living, his wife said. He worked as a paralegal, thought he might want to teach music and considered being a music critic for a newspaper she added.

And the latter is how he began his newspaper career, when in 1976 he became a freelance critic for the Whittier Daily News. He was later hired as a reporter/writer and soon became community news editor.

He and his wife were married in 1989.

In 1985, he was hired by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune as a copy editor. In 1992, he moved to the Orange County Register as a copy editor. In 1994, he went to the L.A. Times as a copy editor on the Metro Desk.

Browning also sang in the choir for Whittier First Friends Church for 23 years.

He is survived by his wife, brother, Charles Browning Jr. of New York, and his sister, Anne Browning McIntosh, of Monrovia.

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  • 2022-09-23 15:59:48
    Linda Neuman

    Bob was a good friend and great singer. We performed some wonderful music together, both as students and at our 25th reunion. I'm so sorry that I will not be seeing him at our 50th.

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