Former Journalism Lecturer Raul Ramirez Refused to be 'Stenographer to the Powerful'

September 18, 2014

CALIFORNIA MAGAZINE --  It’s easy to find words to describe Raul Ramirez as a Bay Area journalist — and one of tremendous conviction, courage, and aplomb. Most of them appeared in the obituaries. Raul died in November 2013 at age 67, just four months after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was executive director of news and public affairs at KQED Public Radio. He’d worked there since 1991, after 23 years at the old San Francisco Examiner, Oakland Tribune, Washington Post, Miami Herald and Wall Street Journal. He’d also taught news writing and investigative reporting for many years at University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State. It is harder to find words describing Raul as a person, especially one who was a colossal presence in the lives of those who knew him. For us, adjectives have been ridiculously inadequate in capturing who he was.