Pam Johnson, former Arizona Republic executive editor, dies

PHOENIX (AP) — Pam Johnson, a former executive editor of Arizona’s largest newspaper, has died. She was 74.

The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that Johnson died Jan. 20 in Overland Park, Kansas after a lengthy battle with dementia.

Johnson led the Republic’s newsroom and that of the sibling Phoenix Gazette for 13 years.

She became managing editor of the Gazette in 1988, then was named managing editor and later executive editor of the Republic.

A 1969 University of Missouri graduate, Johnson was hired at the Binghamton (New York) Evening Press and joined the copy desk of the Kansas City Times a year later before moving to the Kansas City Star.

After leaving Phoenix and having worked for three years at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida, Johnson was named the first executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in 2004.

Johnson also served as a Pulitzer Prize juror, a judge for writing awards at the American Society of Newspaper Editors, as president of The Associated Press Managing Editors and on various industry boards.

Johnson is survived by her sons Matthew and Brad Johnson, daughter Sheila Dalton Crews, a sister and four grandchildren.