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Journalist David Halberstam killed in car crash

Story Highlights

• Police: Pulitzer winner involved in a 10:30 a.m. crash near San Francisco
• Halberstam, 73, spoke to students at UC-Berkeley Saturday
• A New Yorker, Halberstam was working on book in California, dean said
• Wrote 21 books on various subjects including Vietnam War, civil rights, sports
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SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author David Halberstam has died in a car accident in Menlo Park, California, near San Francisco, the San Mateo County coroner's office said Monday.

In 1964 Halberstam, then with The New York Times, shared a Pulitzer for international reporting for his coverage of the early years of the Vietnam War, including the 1963 overthrow of South Vietnamese leader Ngo Dinh Diem.

The accident happened at about 10:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. ET), and the driver of the car carrying Halberstam identified him as the victim, according to the Associated Press.

The driver is a student at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, where Halberstam had spoken Saturday about the craft of journalism, the Associated Press reported.

The student was taken to Stanford Medical Center, the AP said, and two others involved in the crash were injured.

Orville Schell, the dean of Berkeley's journalism school, said Halberstam was in the Bay Area working on a book on NFL hall of famer Y.A. Tittle. He said Tittle, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, now lives in Palo Alto, California, near the scene of the wreck.

After attending Harvard University, Halberstam launched his career in 1955 at the Daily Times Leader, a small daily newspaper in Mississippi. By age 30 he had won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Vietnam War for the New York Times.

He quit daily journalism in 1967 and wrote 21 books covering such diverse topics as the Vietnam War, civil rights, the auto industry and a baseball pennant race. His 2002 best-seller, "War in a Time of Peace," was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.

His 1972 book, "The Best and the Brightest," documented the Kennedy administration's early steps during the war.

Halberstam lived in New York.

Authorities say the accident is still under investigation.


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Pulitzer winning journalist David Halberstam was killed in a car crash in California Monday, a medical examiner said.

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