ARLINGTON, Va. — Robert Parry, a longtime investigative journalist who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1985 for his Associated Press exclusives about the CIA’s production of an assassination manual for Nicaraguan rebels, has died. He was 68.
Parry died Saturday in hospice care after a series of strokes brought on by undiagnosed pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Diane Duston.
Parry joined the AP in 1974 and went on to work in the Washington bureau, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal as it rocked the Reagan administration. His work on the scandal also brought a George Polk Award in 1984.
After leaving the AP in 1987, Parry worked for Newsweek until 1990 and then became an investigative reporter for the PBS series “Frontline.”
In 1995, frustrated with what he saw as dwindling venues for serious investigative reporting, Parry founded the Consortium for Independent Journalism. Its website, Consortiumnews.com, sought to provide a home for such reporting in the early days of the internet, though it struggled financially and relied on contributions.
In a tribute posted on the site, son Nat Parry said, “With my dad, professional work has always been deeply personal, and his career as a journalist was thoroughly intertwined with his family life.”
Parry was born on June 24, 1949, in Hartford, Connecticut. He graduated from Colby College with a degree in English in 1971. He worked in Massachusetts journalism before joining the AP.
The author of six books, Parry received the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence from the Nieman Foundation in 2015 and the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2017. In his remarks in London at the presentation of the Gellhorn Prize, Britain-based journalist John Pilger said, “Bob Parry’s career has been devoted to finding out, lifting rocks — and supporting others who do the same.”
Survivors include his wife, a former Associated Press newswoman; sons Sam Parry and Jeff Parry of Arlington and Nat Parry of Copenhagen, Denmark; daughter Elizabeth Parry of Alexandria, Virginia; and six grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for later in the year.