Jerry Heaster, a former business editor of the Kansas City Star and former president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, died on Wednesday.
Diane Stafford of the Star writes, “‘We have lost a great journalist and a wonderful friend,’ said Steve Shirk, managing editor of The Star. ‘He loved his dialogue with readers and never let them down. His 5,000 columns are proof of that.’
“A staunch believer in the free market, Heaster won legions of fans, as well as critics, for his conservative columns. Heaster himself disdained the label, saying that was far too simplistic.
“Friends and family knew him as a good-humored, gracious and decent man who bootstrapped himself up from a hardscrabble West Virginia background. The Wall Street Journal was his daily bible, and he carefully clipped and kept a library of articles, including his own work, as reference for his prodigious output.
“Heaster retired from The Star in 2006 when effects related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma made it too difficult to continue working. Eighteen months ago, he also was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.”
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