Longtime New York Times writer R.W. Apple Jr. has died at 71. Over his 43 years at the Times, he served as bureau chief in Saigon during the Vietnam War, in addition to top postings in London, Moscow, Nairobi and Washington.
He was known to all as Johnny Apple. And he was famously an eater and a drinker of gargantuan proportion. Those appetites were also included in Apple's Times writing: the search for the perfect Cuban sandwich in Miami; the top bratwurst in Sheboygan; or the ultimate scrambled eggs in Sydney.
The writer Calvin Trillin, a longtime colleague and friend of Apple's, recalls their days together as newspaper editors during college — Trillin at Yale and Apple at Princeton. As Trillin recently told Melissa Block, the two knew each another for 50 years.
Trillin profiled Apple, who was known as Johnny, for The New Yorker in 2003; last year, he wrote a story for Gourmet on Apple's birthday party in France.
Despite suffering from thoracic cancer, Apple had been writing for the Times until very recently.