Daryl Gale, the city editor for The Philadelphia Tribune has died. He was an an award-winning journalist who cared deeply about his craft. He was 55.
“This is a serious loss to the Philadelphia Tribune family. He contributed in many ways toward the success this newspaper has enjoyed in this region,” said Tribune President and CEO Robert W. Bogle. “He was an outstanding columnist and a great person to work with.”
Gale’s career as an editor, journalist, public affairs specialist, press secretary and media consultant spanned more than 20 years.
The Philadelphia native started out as a U.S. Coast Guard photojournalist in the 1980s where he won the Alex Haley Award – the Coast Guard’s highest award for journalism. His series of articles and photographs were published in the Coastline, Navy Times, The Commandant’s Bulletin and Stars and Stripes.
Following his honorable discharge from military service, Gale worked as a junior reporter for the Miami Times before moving back to Philadelphia. He served as editor of First World Forum magazine; lead columnist and senior writer at the Philadelphia City Paper; public affairs coordinator for the Philadelphia Unemployment Project and communications director for the campaign of Seth Williams for district attorney of Philadelphia.
Gale also worked as senior editor of Target Marketing Magazine; a writer and media consultant for Ross Associates, Inc. and a talk show host for WURD Radio 900 AM.
He has been a weekly columnist for The Tribune since 2006. He covered politics, education and current events with a finger on the pulse of urban Philadelphia. He became the Tribune’s city editor in 2011.
“The death of our city editor was quite a shock and a loss for The Tribune and our readers. Gale was a quality journalist who cared deeply about journalism and his city. Once you got past his gruff manner he was genuinely a nice guy,” said Tribune Managing Editor Irv Randolph.
“He was one of the most outstanding columnists in this city. His weekly column, which ran every Friday, was always very hard-hitting. It was a hard-hitting column that often included a lot of biting humor in it. It was something that I always looked forward to reading myself. It always received a tremendous response.”
“Daryl Gale was hands down one of the best columnists in the city,” said Johann Calhoun, Tribune news editor and president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. “I’ve been a fan of his writing and candor for years. He knew this town. Not just the politicians, but the folk in the neighborhoods and on the blocks. I will miss hearing and reading his perspective on all things Philly.”
Tribune staff writer Damon C. Williams referred to Gale as a hard-nosed editor whose gruff nature often belied his tender side.
“He was the stereotypical old-school editor, but once you got to know him, it was easy to tell that he truly cared about the lost art of journalism – and put that above all else. We used to talk for hours on end about what journalism and the newsroom ‘used to be like,’ and we both longed for the days when that type of reporting would return. We would compare notes on the people we talked to, the dirt politicians may or may not have done, and the stories we either wrote or dreamed of writing,” said Williams.
“He was a stand-up editor and man, one who shot straight and would look you eyeball-to-eyeball when talking to you. I will truly miss Gale. He was more than my editor. He was someone I considered a friend, someone I enjoyed learning from. While we do and will miss him dearly, one thing is certain — heaven just got one hell of an assignment editor,” Williams added.
Tribune staff writer Larry Miller regarded Gale as a true journalist and a real newspaper man in the traditional sense of the word.
“He was old school and understood the behind-the-scenes political landscape like no one else. In private meetings with him he always went beyond just the superficiality of things and looked at deeper motives behind the subjects in a story,” said Miller. “There’s no question that I’m a better reporter because of the time I spent working with him. The best way to remember him and honor his work in journalism is to keep pushing to be the best reporters and editors that we can.”
Gale was a 1976 graduate of John Bartram High School. He received various certifications in basic journalism, basic photography and newspaper editing courses.