New York, February 20, 2004—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) mourns the loss of Los Angeles Times associate editor and columnist and CPJ board member Frank del Olmo.

Del Olmo died Thursday afternoon of an apparent heart attack, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was 55 years old.

“Frank was an outstanding journalist and a strong advocate for everything he believed in, including press freedom and the Committee to Protect Journalists,” said CPJ Chairman David Laventhol. “We offer our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues at the Times.”

Del Olmo began at the Los Angeles Times as an intern and moved on to become a staff writer on Latin American affairs, then an editorial writer, a deputy editor of the editorial page, a Times-Mirror Foundation director, and an assistant to the editor of the Times. His career spanned nearly 34 years. In 1984, del Olmo shared a Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service for a series titled “Southern California’s Latino Community.”

He joined CPJ’s board of directors in 1994. For more information about del Olmo, click here.

Contributions can be made to the Frank del Olmo Memorial Scholarship Fund at the California Chicano News Media Association, 3800 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90037; or to the Cure Autism Now Foundation, 5455 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 715, Los Angeles, CA 90036.