Longtime AP Correspondent Carl Hartman Dies

Published February 11, 2012 2:54AM (EST)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Carl Hartman, an Associated Press correspondent in Europe during much of the turbulent mid-20th century and one of the news cooperative's longest-serving journalists, has died, one month after his 95th birthday.

Hartman retired from the agency in 2006 after 62 years but continued writing book reviews. His last review appeared Monday, a day after he died.

The Morristown, N.J., native died at his Washington apartment, said Nancy Thompson, a friend who, worried that Hartman was not answering his telephone, opened his residence to police who found his body on Wednesday. There was no evidence of foul play.

Hartman began his career in 1944, several months before Germany surrendered in World War II, and headed bureaus in Madrid, Paris, Budapest, Brussels and Frankfurt.

He returned to the United States, to the Washington bureau's foreign desk, and concentrated on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, both headquartered in Washington. On the side, he started writing frequently about the city's museums and other cultural pursuits, eventually establishing a new beat for himself.

"Carl's interests were wide and deep. He reported from world capitals and the halls of the World Bank," said Kathleen Carroll, AP vice president and executive editor. "He also wrote with descriptive grace about the fine arts, joyfully introducing millions of readers to the luminous domestic scenes of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. He was a delightful and charming storyteller all his life."

At the same time, Hartman never escaped the allure of being a foreign correspondent.

Larry Heinzerling, now retired, headed the AP's foreign service in 2006 when he came to Washington to preside over Hartman's retirement. Reminiscing on Friday, Heinzerling said, "He pulled me aside and said: 'Listen, if you ever have a freelance assignment to send me on, please let me know."

By Salon Staff

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