Reporter and author Will Fowler died April 13 of prostate cancer in Burbank, Calif. He was 81.
Son of renowned editor-author Gene Fowler, he was the first reporter on the scene of the Black Dahlia murder while reporting for the Los Angeles Examiner in 1947. The reporter was known for his colorful stories of his days as a journalist, some of which were recounted in his book “Reporters: Memoirs of a Young Newspaperman.”
Born in New York, Fowler moved with his family to Hollywood in the mid-1930s and became a pianist and composer before entering journalism after World War II. He ankled the newspaper business in 1952 to write for “The Red Skelton Show” and later became news director for KTTV television. Following his screenwriter father’s death in 1960, he left KTTV to write his father’s bio, “The Young Man From Denver.”
In 1964, Fowler managed Barry Goldwater’s Southern California presidential campaign. From 1965-76 he was a publicist for Fox Television, working on series including “MASH” and “Daniel Boone.”
In later years he continued writing plays and books, and recently completed play “The Grampian Hills,” depicting the final days in the lives of W.C. Fields, John Barrymore and other famous friends.
In addition to co-founding the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, from which he withdrew over its refusal to admit a female editor, he was on the board of the National Writers Assn. for 40 years and a longtime member of ASCAP. Doris Day recorded his song “He’s So Married” in 1959.
He is survived by six children, 16 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.