Harrison Salisbury, 84, a longtime reporter, foreign correspondent and editor with the New York Times who was the author of more than 25 books, died July 5 in Providence, R.I. He lived in Taconic, Conn.
He died of undisclosed causes while returning from a trip to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. A stepdaughter, Rosina Rossire, said only that he died of natural causes.
During a journalism career of more than six decades, he reported not only from foreign capitals but also on such topics as trash disposal and youth gangs in New York. Along the way, he gathered his profession's most coveted awards for foreign reporting, including a Pulitzer Prize and the Sigma Delta Chi and George Polk Memorial awards.
Turner Catledge, a former managing editor of the Times, once called Mr. Salisbury, his longtime colleague, a "journalistic one-man band."
"He can report, he can write, he can edit, he can see story ideas, he can direct others," Catledge said. "He can do all these things because, besides having natural talent, he has a passion to excel."
Mr. Salisbury joined the Times in 1949 as its Moscow correspondent. He wrote from Stalin's Russia during an era when there were few Western journalists in residence and when censors mutilated most copy. He later reported from Communist Eastern Europe and the Far East before writing a dramatic series of articles from North Vietnam while U.S. bombs were falling.
He also was among several top editors at the Times who in 1971 made the decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, the classified report detailing U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Over President Nixon's objections, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of the Times and other papers, including The Washington Post, to publish the documents.
Harrison Evans Salisbury was born in Minneapolis on Nov. 14, 1908. He was a 1930 journalism graduate of the University of Minnesota. He joined United Press in 1930 in St. Paul, Minn., as a reporter and rewrite man. He later was assigned to Chicago, where he covered the trial of gangster Al Capone, and to Washington and New York. He was posted to London in 1942 and became foreign news editor for UP in 1944.
Sent to the Soviet Union early in 1944 for a six-week survey, he stayed there for eight months to report on conditions in Russia during the final days of World War II.
A series of articles he wrote about his Russian experience for Collier's magazine was expanded into his first book, "Russia on the Way."
While he was reporting for the Times from Moscow from 1949 to 1954, his censored reports raised accusations that he was passing on Communist propaganda and glorifying the Soviet regime. Some uncensored versions were published after his return to the United States, including reports on a 12,000-mile trip he made through Siberia that vividly demonstrated how misleading many of his censored pieces had been.
Mr. Salisbury wrote that his years in the Soviet Union had made him a realist about that country. The series of 14 articles published after his return won him the Pulitzer Prize.
Barred from the Soviet Union for five years after the series was published, he nonetheless managed to visit several Soviet satellites. His reports on the deterioration of communism in those Eastern European countries won him the Sigma Delta Chi and Polk awards.
After his return to the United States, his coverage of the civil rights movement in the South led to a $6 million libel suit over articles about race relations in the Birmingham-Bessemer area of Alabama. The Times eventually won the case.
Mr. Salisbury later was named director of national coverage for the Times and assistant managing editor for special sections and supplements.
In 1966, he went to North Vietnam, a country that had been off-limits to U.S. journalists for 12 years. He reported that contrary to official U.S. assertions, American bombing had been inflicting "considerable civilian casualties in Hanoi and its environs for some time."
His dispatches about Hanoi's willingness to negotiate a settlement stirred the smoldering dove-hawk debate in Congress and infuriated Johnson administration officials, who campaigned to discredit him.
In 1970, he was named editor of the Times's opinion page, and two years later he was named associate editor of the newspaper, a post he held until he reached mandatory retirement age, 65, in 1973.
Through much of his career he wrote or edited at least a book a year, including "The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad," "War Between Russia and China," "To Peking and Beyond: A Report on the New Asia" and "The Eloquence of Protest: Voices of the '70s," and a history of the Times, "Without Fear or Favor: The New York Times and its Times."
His marriage to the former Mary Hollis ended in divorce.
Survivors include his wife, Charlotte Young Salisbury, whom he married in 1964 and who lives in Taconic; two sons from his first marriage, Michael, of Chicago, and Stephan, of Philadelphia; and four stepchildren.