Tom Coffey, an old-school newsman - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tom Coffey, an old-school newsman

Tom Coffey, an old-school newsman

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

A sad day Sunday for lovers of news in Savannah, and for fans of old-school journalism.

Tom Coffey, who spent five decades in the newspaper business, most famously as editor of the Savannah Morning News and Evening Press, passed away Sunday at the age of 92.

Coffee walked into a newsroom after graduating Savannah High School in 1940, and for the next 49 years covered everything from politics to crime to sports and also wrote editorials for the paper. After retiring in 1989, he authored several books about Savannah and was widely regarded as one of the city's chief historians.

For a brief period when he was not with the paper, Coffey worked at City Hall and twice served as acting city manager.

But it was his writing and news sense that people all around Savannah are remembering today.

“Tom was old school,’’ said SMN Editorial Page Editor Tom Barton, who considered Coffey and his knowledge of Savannah an invaluable resource. “He believed in getting the facts and getting them right. He also really cared about people and putting people in stories and what does this story mean to me, why is it important to me? He thought like the readers did and he reported the news that way.”

Visitation for Coffey will be held Friday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m at Fox and Weeks Funeral Home on Hodgson Memorial Drive. A funeral is planned for Saturday at noon at St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church.

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