Harold Drake, who served as reporter for Pacific Stars And Stripes and also helped record the Vietnam War, has died of complications from cancer. He was 83 years old.
Drake traveled the globe in his later years, interviewing different celebrities and public figures. The long and varied list of people he spoke to included musician Rod Stewart, Mother Teresa, and Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor. He spoke of the dangers of being in Vietnam and was actually based out of Tokyo for over 40 years, until his retirement in 1995. He was fascinated with Asian culture and made a life, not just a career, there. What made his stories stand out, say his peers, was his ability to weave a tale that pulled readers in on a personal level.
“He managed to find the human element in everything he wrote,” former Pacific Stars and Stripes news editor Ron Rhodes said. “And he was always a gentleman in the process.”
Former co-workers say he was an incredible wordsmith.
“He was quirky, but always fun and always smart,” said Gerry Galipault. “You could tell his mind was working a mile a minute, thinking about what to write next, what to say. And he always said it beautifully.”