David Shaw, 62, the Los Angeles Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning media critic, died of complications from a brain tumor Aug. 1 at a hospital in Los Angeles.
Mr. Shaw, whose hard-hitting and lengthy critiques sometimes included analysis of his own newspaper, scaled back from the long-form style in 2002, when he began writing a food and wine column and a media column. The brain tumor was discovered in May, his wife told the Times.
Mr. Shaw won the Pulitzer for criticism in 1991 for a four-part series on coverage of a case involving allegations that more than 60 children had been subjected to sexual abuse and satanic rituals at a preschool in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Ultimately, no one was convicted of a crime. Mr. Shaw found that most of the reporting was reactive rather than investigative, and he discerned a failure to examine carefully how the prosecution's case was developed and filed.
He also wrote about the Staples Center scandal, in which the newspaper and the sports and entertainment center agreed to split profits on the sale of ads in a special issue of the Los Angeles Times Magazine devoted to the then-new arena.
"We are in the age of transparency in journalism," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and a former colleague of Shaw's at the Times. "David was the first guy outside washing the windows."
An exhaustive and tenacious reporter, he would take months to investigate a story, talking to hundreds of sources. His pieces usually consumed at least two full inside pages after beginning on the front page.
Mr. Shaw, who joined the paper in 1968, was named media critic six years later by the newspaper's editor, William F. Thomas, who warned him that he probably would alienate every reporter in the newsroom if he did his job well.
The day that Mr. Shaw won the Pulitzer, when large crowds traditionally collect around a winner's desk, the gathering near Mr. Shaw was noticeably smaller. Champagne was poured, but many of the bottles were returned unopened. Mr. Shaw seemed to take in stride the fact that his efforts put him at odds with many of his co-workers, some of whom had simply quit speaking to him.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Southern California, Mr. Shaw attended Pepperdine University and graduated from UCLA.
Mr. Shaw wrote five books, including Wilt Chamberlain's autobiography, "Wilt . . . Just Like Any Other 7-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door" (1973), and "The Pleasure Police: How Bluenose Busybodies and Lily-Livered Alarmists Are Taking All the Fun Out of Life" (1996).
His first marriage, to Alice Eck, ended in divorce. His second wife, Ellen Torgerson, died of cancer in 1983.
Survivors include his wife of 17 years, Lucy Stille; a son from his third marriage; two stepchildren; a sister; and three grandchildren.