Marine journalist, the first to cover Vietnam War for Stars and Stripes, dies at 84

Marine journalist, the first to cover Vietnam War for Stars and Stripes, dies at 84

by Seth R
Stripes Japan

The first Stars and Stripes reporter sent to cover the Vietnam War — Marine Gunnery Sgt. Steve Stibbens — died Saturday in Dallas at age 84.

Stibbens got his start in journalism at age 12 as editor of The Camp Woodland Springs Echo, a mimeographed summer camp newspaper in Texas, according to the United States Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association and Foundation. He later worked as a $10-a-night proofreader with the Grand Prairie Daily News in Texas before enlisting in the Marines in 1953.

Stibbens, whose real name was Cecil, picked up the nickname “Steve” at boot camp after visiting a buddy’s Russian mother who couldn’t pronounce his last name, said his daughter, Suzanne Stibbens, of Arlington, Texas.

His first assignment in uniform was as a clerk in South Korea but he soon became a correspondent with the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Read more on stripes.com. 

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