Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

The retired Dallas Morning News reporter died in a car accident

FILE – Wayne Slater, left, of the Austin office of the Dallas Morning News, listens as George W. Bush responds to a response during a 1997 availability in Austin, Texas. Retired Dallas Morning News Austin office manager and former reporter for The Associate Press, Slater, died in a car accident in Williamson County on Monday, December 20, 2021. He was 74. (The Dallas Morning News via AP)

DALLAS – Retired Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater, who covered the rise of Texas governors Ann Richards and George W. Bush, was killed in a car accident. He was 74.

Slater died Monday after his vehicle collided with a pickup truck, Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Deon Cockrell said Tuesday. It happened near Florence, the city north of Austin where Slater lived.

Robert Mong, a former editor-in-chief of the Dallas Morning News, told the paper that Slater was “relentlessly looking for a story.”

“He told a lot of stories because people trusted him and liked to talk to him,” said Mong.

In a statement to the newspaper on Monday, former President Bush described Slater as “a hardworking and insightful reporter.”

Slater was born in Lubbock, Texas and grew up in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He graduated from West Virginia University. From the early 1970s to the mid 1980s, Slater worked for The Associated Press in Charleston, West Virginia; Topeka, Kansas; Peoria, Illinois; and Denver.

But he is best remembered for his next stint: three decades in the Austin office of Morning News, including as office manager. The newspaper reports that Slater retired in December 2014.

Slater also co-wrote two books on Bush advisor Karl Rove: “Bush’s Brain” and “The Architect”.

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