Philip L. Geyelin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, died on Jan. 9 from a heart attack. He was 80.
Geyelin graduated from Yale in 1943, and immediately joined the Marines to fight in World War II. He served at Iwo Jima where he watched members of his artillery unit die. The experience caused him to later describe war as “a ghastly business.”
When he returned to the states, Geyelin spent a short time working for The Associated Press before moving on to The Wall Street Journal. During his 20-year tenure with the financial publication, he wrote hundreds of articles and ran its Paris and London bureaus.
In 1967, Geyelin joined the Washington Post as the deputy editor of the editorial page under J. Russell Wiggins, whose editorials supported the war in Vietnam. When Wiggins left the paper to become President Lyndon B. Johnson’s ambassador to the United Nations, Geyelin took over the editorial page and altered its position on the war. He won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1970.
After 11 years as editorial page editor, Geyelin became a syndicated foreign affairs columnist, specializing in civil liberties and Middle Eastern issues. He published the 1966 book, “Lyndon B. Johnson and the World,” and co-wrote the 1983 text, “American Media: Adequate or Not?” with Douglass Cater. Geyelin was working on a book about King Hussein of Jordan when he died.