Linda Deutsch News
ASSOCIATED PRESS SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
In a half century with The Associated Press, Linda Deutsch established herself as the nation’s leading expert in coverage of high profile trials. From Manson to Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson to Michael Jackson and many others, she provided a journalistic history of the American justice system in the pressure cooker of celebrity trials.
She had a front row seat for politically sensitive trials, cases of gruesome murders, a kidnapped heiress turned bank robber, gang murders, drug lords and mafia figures.
The magazine, “Current Biography,” summing up her career, said, “She has been ranked among the foremost American courtroom journalists of modern times…She is best known for her detailed, objective reporting on some of the most sensational, newsworthy and influential trials of recent decades.
Before she scaled the heights of her profession, Linda Deutsch was a New Jersey girl who began writing in grade school, worked for her local newspaper in high school and found her calling while a student at Monmouth College, now Monmouth University, in West Long Branch.
Her ties to Monmouth remained strong over the years. In 1996 she received the Distinguished Alumni Award and in 2019 the university celebrated the naming of the Linda Deutsch ’65 Student Journalism Center.
Over the decades, Linda became the eyes and ears of the public at countless trials including those of: Sirhan Sirhan, Manson, Hearst, Angela Davis, Daniel Ellsberg, John DeLorean, Exxon Valdez skipper Joseph Hazelwood, Simpson, Michael Jackson and Robert Blake.
She added an exclamation point to her career with her coverage of the Simpson criminal and civil trials which brought her face into millions of homes in televised pool reports and interviews. She was a Pulitzer Prize nominee for her work on the case. Simpson later gave her numerous interviews saying he trusted her to be fair.
In retirement, she continues to appear in documentaries recounting the historic cases she covered.
In 2012 she was inducted into the Asbury Park High School Hall of Fame. She has received many awards, including the University of Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists national First Amendment Award and SPJ honor as a “Fellow of the Society,” the highest honor awarded for contributions to the journalism profession.
She co-authored the book, “Verdict: The Chronicle of the O.J. Simpson Trial,” and contributed to the AP history: “Breaking news: How The Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else.” She is at work on a memoir.
A lesser known fact about Linda is that at age 12 she founded one of the first Elvis Presley fan clubs and published a fan newspaper that gave her a taste of what it would be like to be a journalist sending news reports to a mass audience. Her dedication to Elvis never waned and has become a colorful part of her legend.
In 2023 she was tapped for her most prestigious recognition, an honorary doctorate degree from her alma mater at a ceremony at which she was invited to be the commencement speaker
Born in Perth Amboy, N.J., she was raised in the seaside town of Bradley Beach, graduated from Asbury Park High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Monmouth in 1965. She was editor of the prize-winning literary magazine, “Monmouth Letters” and features editor of the campus newspaper, “The Outlook. “
A journalism professor guided her to a summer job at the Perth Amboy Evening News where she covered her first front-page story, the 1963 civil rights march on Washington. After that, she has said, her career path was clear.
Upon graduation, she became a reporter and columnist for the Asbury Park Press, subsequently moving to California at the urging of her uncle, a newspaper editor. She worked briefly for the San Bernardino Sun, then joined The Associated Press in Los Angeles in 1967 as the only woman on the staff.
Before moving into courtrooms, Linda covered two Presidents - Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan - at their Western White Houses and two assassination attempts on another president, Gerald Ford. In 1975 she was dispatched to Guam where she spent six weeks covering the evacuation of Vietnam after the fall of Saigon.
“She’s just extremely ethical, extremely professional and very, very honest. If she tells you something is off the record, you can bet your life that it is. She also has a great belief in the importance of her profession as an honorable, valuable institution in society.”
Thomas Mesereau - High-Profile Defense Attorney
"For 48 years, Linda Deutsch held a bright candle for The Associated Press. She taught us what true reporting and journalism are truly about."
Judy Farah - KFBK Senior Editor