Latest Entry: The RSS feed for this blog has moved

Washington Post staff writers offer a window into the art of obituary writing, the culture of death, and more about the end of the story.

Read more | What is this blog?

More From the Obits Section: Search the Archives  |   RSS Feeds RSS Feed   |   Submit an Obituary  |   Twitter Twitter

Cyril J. O'Brien, public relations supervisor

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Saturday, March 5, 2011; 5:35 PM

Cyril J. O'Brien, who retired in 1983 as supervisor of publications at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, died of renal failure at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda on Jan. 31, the day after his 92nd birthday. He was a Kensington resident.

Cyril John O'Brien was born in St. John's, Newfoundland. His family moved to the United States during the Depression and settled in Camden, N.J.

He received a bachelor's degree in English from St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia in 1942 and a master's degree in communications from American University in 1965.

Mr. O'Brien began his career as a police and courts reporter in Camden. During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps as a combat correspondent. He covered action on Bougainville and Guam, intermittently exchanging his notebook and pen for a rifle.

He took part of the invasion of Iwo Jima and was on the beach when the Marines raised the American flag atop Mount Suribachi. He left the Marine Corps as a captain.

After the war, Mr. O'Brien moved to Washington and worked as a journalist on Capitol Hill as a congressional correspondent for the Trentonian and other New Jersey newspapers.

While continuing to work as a freelance journalist, he began working at the Johns Hopkins laboratory in 1949.

His wife of 25 years, Elizabeth Barr O'Brien, died in 1975.

Survivors include four children, Bridget Turow and Patricia Cahill, both of Silver Spring, Johnine Meehan of Downington, Pa., and Anthony O'Brien of Frederick; and seven grandchildren.

- T. Rees Shapiro


More in the Obituary Section

Post Mortem

Post Mortem

The art of obituary writing, the culture of death, and more about the end of the story.

From the Archives

From the Archives

Read Washington Post obituaries and view multimedia tributes to Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, James Brown and more.

[Campaign Finance]

A Local Life

This weekly feature takes a more personal look at extraordinary people in the D.C. area.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile