Peter John Kumpa, 76, a retired journalist for the Baltimore Sun, where he had been a foreign correspondent and Washington bureau chief, and who was a past member of the board of governors of the National Press Club, died Feb. 23 at a hospice in Baltimore. He had cancer.
Mr. Kumpa, a resident of Lutherville, Md., worked for the Sun papers from 1951 to 1991, then served eight years as a press assistant to the Maryland state Senate historian.
Mr. Kumpa covered police and courts for the Sun before joining its Washington bureau, where he worked from 1954 to 1956. His assignments included serving as news editor, covering congressional hearings and writing a weekly column about the Maryland congressional delegation.
He was the Sun's Middle East correspondent in 1956 and 1957 and then its White House correspondent before serving as Moscow correspondent from 1958 to 1961. He then covered Congress before opening the Sun's Saigon bureau in 1965. He was Hong Kong bureau chief from 1966 to 1970, then a diplomatic correspondent in 1971 and 1972.
As Washington bureau chief from 1972 to 1975, he directed the Sun's coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign, the unfolding Watergate investigations and the end of the Nixon presidency. He accompanied the president on trips to Europe and the Middle East.
From 1975 to 1979, he was stationed in London as the Sun's chief European correspondent. From 1979 until retiring from journalism in 1991, he wrote a column for the Baltimore Evening Sun. In the 1980s, he also was a panelist with Maryland Public Television news programs.
Mr. Kumpa was born in what is now Lithuania, came to the United States as a child and grew up in Boston. A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, he was a Harvard University Nieman fellow in 1957 and 1958. He served with the Navy in the Pacific during World War II.
He had been a member of the Gridiron Club.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, the former Margaret Balch, of Lutherville; four daughters, Elizabeth Gordon of London, Jacqueline Kumpa of Boston and Katherine and Lydia Kumpa, both of Baltimore; three sisters; and five grandchildren.