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Former editor, reporter dies at 74

Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Former Herald-Dispatch editor and sports writer Harry H. Fisher died Oct. 13 at his home in Huntington.

He was born Feb. 15, 1938, in Hazard, Ky., son of Harry Fisher and Martha Izard Fisher. Fisher was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and attended Washington and Lee University. He graduated from Marshall University in 1967 and received a master's degree in journalism from Marshall University in 1971.

In 1965, Fisher started his career as a sports writer for The Herald-Dispatch and The Huntington Advertiser. He left the Huntington area in 1973 to become the managing editor of Statesboro (Ga.) Herald.

Fisher returned to The Herald-Dispatch sports department in 1974, working alongside former sports writers Mike Brown and Ernie Salvatore. He was promoted to the position of night news editor at The Herald-Dispatch in 1975.

"His strength was in being a good news editor," said Don Hatfield, former president and publisher of The Herald-Dispatch. "Harry was just a really nice guy and a very hard worker."

Jim Casto, local historian and a former editor of The Herald-Dispatch, joined the newspaper staff in 1963 as a reporter, but it wasn't until Fisher became editor that the pair got to know each other better.

"He was the kind of steady, hard-working individual that would make a managing editor or executive editor think 'Gosh, I'm sorry I didn't have 10 more like him,'" Casto said.

Casto referred to Fisher as being a "solid" worker, saying no one had to worry about Fisher not completing his work correctly or by deadline.

"He was friendly and outgoing, and had a sort of wry sense of humor that sometimes you had to stop and say 'Wait a minute, what'd you say?'" Casto said. "He was one of the good guys."

Fisher was dedicated to his job and enjoyed helping teach the younger employees. He was a quiet and conscientious reporter and editor, Hatfield said.

"I don't recall anyone ever having any kind of problem with him," Hatfield said. "I've never heard anyone ever say a bad word about him. He was a very valuable member of the staff, a very good editor and a real good person to work with."

Fisher is survived by his wife, Mary Alice Collins Fisher. Funeral arrangements are pending at Chapman's Mortuary, Huntington. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.chapmans-mortuary.com.