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UPI Reporter Quigg Dies at 86

May 13, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ H. D. ``Doc″ Quigg, who covered two wars, the moon landing and some of the biggest trials of the century during a 49-year career as a reporter for United Press International, died Tuesday. He was 86.

Quigg, who lived in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, died at St. Vincent’s Medical Center of complications from heart disease, according to his daughter, Susan.

Quigg was with Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the Pacific during World War II, and in 1947 accompanied Adm. Richard E. Byrd on his expedition to the Antarctic. He also covered the aftermath of President Kennedy’s death, funerals for MacArthur, Eleanor Roosevelt, President Eisenhower and Martin Luther King Jr.

Among the court cases that Quigg covered were the trials of Jack Ruby, Alger Hiss, Dr. Sam Sheppard, James Earl Ray and the Chappaquiddick inquest involving Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

``He was a giant in the business,″ said Associated Press special correspondent Linda Deutsch, who sat alongside Quigg at many trials. ``He also wrote some of the most beautiful prose.″

In 1969, Quigg covered man’s landing on the moon.

``You sat there and watched man step into his own dream. The silent footfall on the airless moon that was the leap of ages. You sat and saw a corner-turning in the human saga,″ Quigg wrote.

Among his colleagues at UPI was former CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite.

``He was a superb reporter and writer with a quixotic sense of humor,″ Cronkite said. ``I always was told never to play cards with a guy named Doc but if they were all like Doc I would have played cards with any of them.″

Quigg interviewed Winston Churchill, Pope Pius XXII, swam with Jane Russell and went pub-crawling Errol Flynn.

According to UPI, one of Quigg’s most unusual assignments was covering a nudist convention in New Jersey wearing a wristwatch, his rimless eyeglasses and a smile.

A native of Marshall, Mo., Quigg grew up in Boonville, Mo. His father was a doctor and he got the nickname ``Little Doc,″ which stuck for life.

He earned bachelor of arts and journalism degrees from the University of Missouri and launched his career at the Boonville Daily News, but soon after joined United Press in Cleveland. He came to New York in 1937.

UPI named him a senior editor in 1967, and he retired in 1985, quipping, ``I gave UPI a 49-year trial.″

In 1978, Quigg received the New York Society of Silurians award for distinguished reporting. He also was awarded the University Missouri Honor Medal for distinguished service in journalism.

His daughter is his only survivor.

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