Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Former Field and Stream Editor Dies at Age 84 in his Santa Fe Home
SANTA FE Jack Samson, a longtime editor of Field & Stream magazine, has died at his home in Santa Fe.
Samson, who died Sunday, would have turned 85 on Monday, said a friend and fishing buddy, Jeff Bowen.
Samson, born John G. Samson in Providence, R.I., in 1922, spent much of his life in Santa Fe. He first came to the city at age 8 to recover from asthma, and grew up there in the 1930s, Bowen said.
He served in World War II as an Army Air Corps navigator aboard a B-24 bomber over China.
A friend of Samson's, John Catsis, wrote in a 2005 article for the Outdoor Writers Association of America that during the war, Samson formed a friendship with Maj. Gen. Claire Chennault of Flying Tigers fame a friendship initiated in part by a mutual love for fishing.
Samson later did public relations work for a transport airline Chennault operated in China and eventually wrote a biography of Chennault.
After the war, Samson attended the University of New Mexico on the GI Bill and graduated in 1949 with a degree in journalism.
He covered the Korean War for United Press International, and later joined The Associated Press in Albuquerque. He was awarded a Nieman Fellowship from Harvard University in 1960.
After a stint as a free-lance writer, Samson joined Field & Stream in New York City in 1970 as managing editor. He became editor-in-chief in 1972 and traveled throughout the world for the magazine.
He retired in 1985 and returned to Santa Fe.
Samson also wrote numerous books, largely on outdoor subjects and fishing.
"We fished together for quite a few years always had wonderful trips. ... He loved his fishing and his writing,'' Bowen said Tuesday.
Samson fished on every continent and went on several safaris, he said.
"He lived the life that most of us that enjoy that type of life would have liked to have had,'' Bowen said.
Samson received UNM's James F. Zimmerman award in 1999 in recognition of his outstanding career as a journalist, author and editor. In 2001, he received The Excellence in Craft award from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.
Services are set for Thursday at 10 a.m. at McGee Memorial Chapel in Santa Fe, with burial to follow in the National Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, Victoria; sons John, Donald and James; a sister; and four grandchildren.
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