Philip Fradkin, writer and historian, dead at 77

Historians in the News

Philip L. Fradkin, a pioneering environmental journalist and historian who attached himself to Western themes as varied as Wallace Stegner, Wells Fargo and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, died Saturday at his home in Point Reyes Station. He was 77, and the cause of death was cancer.

As recently as six months ago, the tall and athletic Mr. Fradkin could be seen in his white rowboat on Tomales Bay in the early morning light. And as recently as a few weeks ago, he would walk a mile a day at a brisk pace around his adopted hometown, stopping in at his office on Main Street and visiting with merchants.

"He was one of the most vigorous persons in the village - intellectually, physically and creatively," said Steve Costa, owner of Point Reyes Books. "His books really spoke to the soul of Point Reyes and the West."...

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