Campus: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo -- September 27, 2002

Key Cal Poly Advisor, Veteran Journalist Herb Kamm Dies

Veteran Journalist Herb Kamm, 85, who served as a key advisor to Cal Poly and as a teacher and mentor to many of its journalism students, passed away today.

After retiring to the Central Coast in 1985, Kamm put his then-50 years of experience as a writer and editor in New York and Cleveland to work at Cal Poly. At various times, he served as advisor to the student newspaper, Mustang Daily, and taught journalism classes.

He also was a member of the editorial board of the San Luis Obispo Tribune and mentored many of the newspaper's young reporters, many of whom he had taught at Cal Poly.

In 1998, Kamm was named special assistant to Cal Poly's vice president for university advancement and worked closely with the university's President's Office on many special projects.

Most notable to the community were the seven media forums he produced in conjunction with Cal Poly that drew hundreds of people to campus to hear from national and local media writers, film and television writers, critics and directors, and political commentators. In 2001, less than a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Kamm presented a forum on terrorism and politics.

"Herb Kamm's deep commitment to providing divergent viewpoints to further our understanding of the world around us and his long-time friendships with the titans of the media industry were the keys to the success of the forums he put together," said Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker.

"Herb was also one of my key advisors and played a very important role in Cal Poly's community relations efforts. He and his wife, Phyllis, were active supporters of the fund-raising campaign to build the San Luis Obispo Performing Arts Center."

"As a man, he will be remembered for his dedication, kindness, wisdom and sense of humor. He cannot be replaced," Baker said.

Kamm has a Cal Poly scholarship named in his honor. It's the Herb Kamm Journalism Scholarship and is awarded to journalism students who demonstrateacademic excellence, an interest in a career in media, and financial need.

Kamm began his career in journalism at 17 as a sports writer and sports editor in New Jersey. After a year with the Associated Press, he started what became a 25-year stretch in the high-powered world of New York City newspapers. In the late 1960s, he became executive editor of the Cleveland Press and served as editorial director for a Cleveland television station before he retired in 1985.

In 1986, he was elected to the Cleveland Journalism Hall of Fame and hailed as "Mr. Cleveland" for his civic involvement.

Kamm is survived by Phyllis, his wife of 66 years and three sons and their families.

Contact: Jo Ann Lloyd, (805) 756-1511


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