The following is a writing assignment for my Journalism 100 class at the University of La Verne. Information was provided by the Professor to write a story for a class assignment. Information may be false, outdated, or changed by the Professor for educational purposes. **This particular story is a fake obituary of my professor.
Lance Pugmire, Prize-Winning Journalist of the LA Times, Dies at 49
Lance Jon Pugmire, award winning journalist at the LA Times, died Wednesday, April 20. Pugmire was coming home from a weekend long trip in Big Bear when he swerved his Ford F150 truck off the mountain, landing in a fiery crash. It is suspected Pugmire was texting while driving and died on impact. Pugmire was 49.
Pugmire, a resident of Upland, is survived by his two sons Tyler, 15 and Nathan, 9 as well as mother Sherry and father Jerry Pugmire. He also leaves behind his brother and sister, Jason and Jodi, as well as ex-wife and mother of his children Sheri, whom he was married to from 1999 to 2013.
Pugmire was president of the West coast division of the Boxing Writers Association of America and first on the scene to contribute to the 2003 Pulitzer Prize winning coverage of wildfires in the Inland Empire and San Diego by the LA Times. Pugmire was also won the Associated Press Sports Editors award for his prize-winning coverage of the death of Northwestern football player Rashidi Wheeler and the Manny Ramirez performance-enhancing drug use scandal. In 2012, Pugmire won two first place writing awards in an international writing contest. Other notable works include coverage of the Kobe Bryant rape case.
The last story Pugmire was working on was about Kazakhstani professional fighter Gennady Golovkin. Pugmire’s recorder survived the fire, which contained his interview with Golovkin discussing his desire to host a “super fight” at Cowboy Stadium.
Pugmire, who grew up in La Mesa, graduated from Granite Hills High School in 1985 and earned his BA in Journalism at Cal State Fullerton in 1991. He took pride in being the first of his family to graduate from college.
From CSUF he continued his career at the Anaheim Bulletin and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspapers. Pugmire has been employed by the LA Times since 1999. Pugmire was previously the Times’ boxing/MMA/Ducks beat writer and enterprise Sports story contributor.
Pugmire is described as a good team player, fair, and without agenda unlike other journalists, however he had a small hiccup in his career in 2006. The Times ran Pugmire’s story on Roger Clemens’ steroid use after Pugmire received information from an affidavit naming Clemens as one of a handful of baseball players in an ongoing amphetamines, anabolic steroids and human growth hormone-use investigation. This information was later revealed to be false, forcing the Times to publish a retraction.
When Pugmire was not on assignment for the Times or working as a professor of Journalism at the University of La Verne, he enjoyed spending time with his sons. Pugmire was a long-time little league and baseball coach in Upland, an activity he shared with them. He was also an avid over-the-line player (a version of beach softball) for 25 years and often participated in the San Diego competition in July.
Pugmire’s funeral will be held at St. Antony’s Catholic Church in Upland at noon on April 27 followed by a burial the next day in El Cajon. The Pugmire family is accepting donations to be give to the American Cancer Society in his name.