Leslie W. Higbie

Leslie W. Higbie, 95, a retired radio newscaster with Voice of America who had a daily radio news show in Washington during the 1940s and
1950s through the Mutual Broadcasting System, died of heart disease Dec. 31 at a retirement facility in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

He was a Washington area resident for more than 55 years until retiring in 1988 to St. Simons Island, Ga. He moved to Hilton Head in 2003.
Over the years, he was known as "Les" or "Hig."

In the late 1940s, Mr. Higbie joined Mutual's WOL, which later became WWDC, in Washington.

In 1967, Mr. Higbie became press secretary for Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-Minn.) and stayed on during the senator's unsuccessful
presidential campaign in 1968. After the campaign Mr. Higbie was a radio announcer for VOA until he retired in 1977.

Leslie Wilson Higbie, a native of Morris, Minn., was born on the campus of the West Central School of Agriculture -- now the University of
Minnesota Morris -- where his father was the superintendent.

The family moved to the Washington area in 1931, and Mr. Higbie was a 1933 graduate of
Central High School. He received a bachelor's
degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in 1937 and, shortly after, moved back to Washington to work at the Library of Congress in
the periodical section.

In 1941, Mr. Higbie moved to Raleigh, N.C., to work for a small radio station. During World War II, he served as an Army Air Forces
intelligence officer and was part of an operation that flew over the Nagasaki atomic bomb site to take aerial photographs of the destruction.

In the 1960s, Mr. Higbie became one of 1,000 volunteers to take part in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. He participated in the
program, which included yearly evaluations, for more than 30 years.

His marriage to the former Natalie Ritter ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Elizabeth Blood Higbie of Hilton Head; three stepchildren, Dr. Lewis Rock of Richland, Wash., Robert
Rock of Los Angeles and Cynthia McLean of New York; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

-- T. Rees Shapiro, Washington Post