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Vance Trimble, Pulitzer-winning Kentucky Post editor, dead at 107

Posted at 3:02 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 15:04:24-04

Vance Trimble, the former Kentucky Post editor who won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on nepotism and corruption in Congress, died Wednesday at 107.

Trimble was an Oklahoma native and longtime writer for Scripps Howard, a company he joined in 1939 as a copy-editor for the Houston Press. He would be managing editor of the Press by 1950, and he was transferred to Scripps Howard’s Washington bureau in 1955.

It was here in 1959 that Trimble embarked on his most famous project: An investigation into Congressional payroll. He discovered about 20% of Washington legislators had family members on their payroll; when he published his findings, the story became so big he reported on it every day for half a year.

Trimble won a Pulitzer Prize for the project in 1960. Three years later, he became the editor of the Kentucky Post in Covington, Kentucky, and remained there until 1979.

“I knew I had the stuff to be editor,” Trimble would later tell the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. “I was imaginative, creative, I got stuff done, and I was a good people person.”

In addition to his journalism, Trimble wrote books about Ronald Reagan; Walmart founder Sam Walton; and Edward Willis Scripps, the founder of WCPO’s parent company E.W. Scripps.

Trimble was preceded in death by his wife, Elzene, in 1999 and their daughter, Carol Ann Nordheimer, in February 2021.