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Walter J. Trohan (July 4, 1903 – October 30, 2003) was a longtime Chicago Tribune reporter and bureau chief in Washington, D.C., and was regarded as the last of the metropolitan newspaper Washington bureau chiefs whose bylines made them famous.
Trohan began his career as a reporter in 1929 at Chicago's City News Bureau. As a young reporter he was first on the scene of the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre when Al Capone's gang gunned down several members of the rival Bugs Moran gang.
He began covering Washington in the second year of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency (1934). He retired on December 31,1968. In spite of the Tribune's hostility to Roosevelt's policies, Trohan and the president got along well.
Trohan was known for ferreting out the fact that President Truman planned to fire General Douglas MacArthur, the commander of UN forces in Korea. When Truman found out that Trohan knew about his plan, he publicly announced his decision and robbed Trohan of the scoop.
In 1975 Trohan wrote his memoirs and titled the book Political Animals. In the book, he recalled how when he arrived in Washington in 1934 as an assistant correspondent in the Tribune's Washington Bureau. He could remember freely wandering Roosevelt's White House and interviewing cabinet members and other staff. Due to tightened security measures, this freedom no longer exists.
Trohan is the source for much unique information about Franklin Roosevelt's health that turned up in various publications and FBI documents. He was the source for much of a controversial article published by Dr. Karl C. Wold in Look Magazine in 1947. He also collaborated with James A. Farley in ghost writing his memoirs. Trohan's papers are housed at the Herbert Hoover Library, near Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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