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News Headline: “Former Sun-Times editor Ralph Otwell dies; guided investigations.”
Ralph Otwell was one of the editors who gave the nod to hiring a young QT at the Chicago Sun-Times some years ago.
He had many gifts as an editor.
One of them was dedication.
QT just now remembers a passage from its book on the Sun-Times Mirage Tavern investigation.
It was the night before the first story hit the streets:

Editor Ralph Otwell meanwhile watched as page-one proofs were pulled for the Sunday Chicago Sun-Times. He had gone down to the composing room at 10 p.m. to mark the moment. When the first proofs came off, he looked them over, nodded to himself and prepared to leave.
But then Otwell remembered that story-stealing didn’t stop at the editorial level. One newspaper’s proofs sometimes ended up in another newspaper’s composing room.
So he put tobacco in his pipe, lighted it, folded his arms and watched as the proofs for the first week of Mirage stories were pulled.
One hour went by and then another. Otwell puffed on his pipe and watched.
It was after midnight when the last proofs were pulled, counted and put in the proper hands. The type chases were locked away.
Otwell tapped out his pipe, said goodnight and went home.

The good die young.
And sometimes at age 90.

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