2017-10-18 / Front Page

John Douglas, longtime Messenger editor, dies at 70

We are saddened to learn of the death this morning of John Douglas, the former longtime editor of this paper and The Hancock News. He died at his Berkeley Springs home with family present.

Douglas became a reporter for the papers in 1974 and continued to work in the news business until March of 2013, when he retired as editor.John Douglas.John Douglas.

 The father of two and grandfather of three was an award-winning mystery novelist and historian, an expert on blues music and avid supporter of local libraries and the arts.

Douglas was born and raised in Cumberland, attended college at Western Maryland College and spent several years as a school teacher in Baltimore before moving to Morgan County with his first wife and raising two sons. 

During his four-decade career as a journalist, he won numerous newspaper awards in West Virginia and Maryland for his editorials, investigative stories, coverage of crime and trials, feature stories and headline news.

His news writing was published in The Washington Post and he was a contributor to other publications, including several blues music and history magazines.

As editor of The Messenger and The News, Douglas repeatedly fought for the public to have free access to government meetings and decision-making. He also took strong stances against local plans that he believed posed a risk to the county or were a waste of public funds.

During his newspaper career, Douglas covered major floods and several murders, plus the workings of local government.

In retirement, John traveled and spent time with family, and continued to organize fundraising events for the Morgan County Public Library.

A full obituary will be printed in a future edition of The Messenger and News.

 

 

 

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I'm shocked and saddened to

I'm shocked and saddened to hear of John's death. We've lost a wise and articulate mamber of the Morgan County community and a friend. I wish his sons and grandchildren peace and comfort.

John will be greatly missed.

John will be greatly missed. Not only was he a most pleasant person to be around, he also made a major impact on our culture.