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News executive Joseph Ungaro dies at 76.

An expert in newspaper publishing and editing, Joseph Ungaro was also respected in the newsletter world as a founding board member of Fraser and Betty Lang's Manisses Communications Group Inc. and an editorial advisory board member of The Newsletter on Newsletters, when it was published by Jim Marshall, a college chum of Ungaro's at Providence College.

But he was known to the wider world as the reporter whose question to President Richard M. Nixon elicited his reply, "I'm not a crook."

Ungaro served in editorial and executive positions his entire career at a number of newspapers, including managing editor of The Evening Bulletin of Providence. At the Associated Press Managing Editors convention in Orlando, Florida, in 1973, Ungaro asked Nixon if he had accurately reported his income taxes. The New York Times described the scene in its obituary of Ungaro:

"Nixon's famous declaration came after he had gone on to answer a subsequent question about the Watergate scandal, posed by Dick Smyser of The Oak Ridger of Oak Ridge, Tenn., then president of the association. At the end of that reply, Nixon doubled back to Ungaro's question, saying, 'People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook.'

"Nixon later agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. A reporter for the Providence newspaper, Jack White, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1974 for reporting on Nixon's tax troubles."

Ungaro, who lived in Charlestown, R.I., died November 12 in Kingston. He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, two daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.
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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Nov 30, 2006
Words:265
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