Jack Trawick, an editor who coordinated the Winston-Salem Journal’s 1971 Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the effects of strip mining in Appalachia, died Saturday at Forsyth Medical Center. He was 80.
Trawick died of complications of leukemia, said his son, Michael Trawick.
“He was probably the most civic-minded and the most giving person that I’ve ever met,” Michael Trawick said of his father.
Jack Trawick taught his two sons, Michael and Benton, how to think critically, Michael Trawick said.
“He taught us about the importance of being responsible with information,” Michael Trawick said. “He taught us to check facts and document what we read and to check sources.”
A native of Macon, Ga., Jack Trawick graduated in 1957 from Davidson College with a bachelor’s degree in English and French, according to his obituary. He served three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.
Trawick joined the staff of the Journal as a reporter in 1961. He won several awards for reporting government affairs and business news.
He was promoted to assistant state editor in April 1966, and then to state editor in April 1967. In that role, he coordinated much of the coverage that earned the Journal’s 1971 Pulitzer Prize.
As part of his work, Trawick traveled to Kentucky and reported on strip mining there.
“We felt like we were doing something,” Trawick said of the project in an interview with the Journal in March.
Trawick was named as the systems editor for the Twin City Sentinel and Winston-Salem Journal in 1980. The Sentinel, an afternoon newspaper in Winston-Salem and the Journal’s sister publication, ceased publishing in 1985, and its operations were absorbed into the Journal.
As the systems editor, Trawick guided the news staff in the transition from using typewriters to using word-processing computers, said Joe Goodman, a former Journal managing editor. Trawick also adapted computers to the newspaper business.
“He was like a stern school teacher,” Goodman said. “He also was a jovial guy and very patient as he instructed people in the new technology. He was extremely intelligent.”
Trawick retired in 1999 as an assistant to the publisher, his son said.
Trawick’s family loved him very much, said his wife, Catherine Trawick.
“My children adored him,” she said. “His daughters-in-law and grandchildren also loved him.”
As a journalist, Jack Trawick expressed himself “beautifully,” Catherine Trawick said.
“He was a loving man,” she said. “He was a wise man.”
A memorial service for Trawick will be held at 2 p.m. July 22 at Parkway Presbyterian Church, 1000 Yorkshire Road, in Winston-Salem.