A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists

Obituary – Bill Brannigan

By Quill

A journalist and press officer who turned to acting in retirement, Bill Brannigan died May 20, 2009. He joined SPJ in 1969.

A native of East Rockaway, N.Y., he graduated from Tufts University and served as a naval officer for five years. Beginning at the New York World-Telegram & Sun, his journalism career included NBC News, UPI Newsfilm and ABC News, where he was a correspondent and bureau chief. He opened news bureaus for ABC in Nairobi and Cairo and served at the network’s New York, Los Angeles and Tel Aviv news bureaus. He was the Murrow Press Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in 1969-70.

Brannigan covered civil rights protests, including the 1965 Selma, Ala., march and the James Meredith march through Mississippi the following year. He was based in Vietnam for two years and reported on the 1968 Tet Offensive from Da Nang and Hue. He reported from Egypt during the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict and from Angola during its civil war.

After leaving ABC News, he served as news manager at Bank of America headquarters in San Francisco. In 1982, he joined the World Bank’s press office in Washington, D.C., where he served for 15 years. Upon retirement he took up acting, performing in 22 local productions, both dramas and musicals.

Aside from membership in SPJ, Brannigan was also a member of the National Press Club and Overseas Press Club.