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Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame

Mike Cochran

Mike Cochran
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Mike Cochran

Associated Press, Fort Worth Star Telegram

Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Roving reporter and author Mike Cochran of Fort Worth spent his career exploring the dizzying heights and murky depths of Texas for The Associated Press to write some of the Lone Star State’s and the nation’s biggest headline-grabbing stories of the last 40 years of the 20th century. Reports filed by Cochran gave readers close-in, detail-rich views of events in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the University of Texas Tower shooting, the Apollo 11 moon mission, the T. Cullen Davis murder trial, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle explosions, political scandals and city-ripping twisters in Tornado Alley.

Oddly and notably, while covering the funeral of Lee Harvey Oswald in Fort Worth, Cochran was one of six reporters recruited as pallbearers for the friendless man accused of assassinating the president. Cochran also wrote books based on his reportage. Among them are such titles as: Texas vs. Davis: The Only Complete Account of the Bizarre Thomas Cullen Davis Murder Case; Deliver Us From Evil: A Trilogy of Murder, Ministers and Millionaires (with fellow AP writer John Lumpkin); and a biography of Midland oilman and former gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams — Claytie: The Roller-Coaster Life of a Texas Wildcatter.

A native of Muskogee, Okla., Cochran grew up in the small West Texas town of Stamford and studied journalism at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene and what is now the University of North Texas in Denton. He began his career as a sportswriter for newspapers in Denton and Abilene before joining the AP in 1960. He also wrote for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.