Alexander "Al" Sullivan, 75, a former White House correspondent for the U.S. Information Agency from the Johnson to the Clinton administrations, died of respiratory failure Nov. 4 at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, N.J.
In the White House press corps, he was second in seniority to then-UPI reporter Helen Thomas when he retired in 1999. His duties took him to six continents and all 50 states, and he circumnavigated the world with President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 and President Richard M. Nixon in 1970.
Mr. Sullivan once told an interviewer that his White House post made him a guest at the banquet of history unfolding.
He was a witness at the signing of many international accords, including the Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and the first-ever nuclear weapons pact, between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
With other members of the White House press corps, Mr. Sullivan had dinner in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and was given emergency overnight accommodations in a former mental hospital in Vladivostok, Russia. He was aboard the Aeroflot jet whose engines conked out en route from Yalta to Moscow, and later speculated that the glass of clear liquid rushed to the cockpit after the engines restarted was vodka, not water, as the stewardess asserted.
Before joining the U.S. Information Agency, he worked for four New Jersey newspapers: the Hackensack Record, the Bayonne Times, the Asbury Park Press and the Newark News. He moved in 1965 to Arlington, where he lived until retiring in 1999 to Spring Lake, N.J.
Born in Bayonne, N.J., Mr. Sullivan graduated from St. Peter's College in Jersey City and served in the Army in West Germany from 1953 to 1954. He earned a master's degree in journalism from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., in 1956.
In retirement, he spent many hours researching and writing a spy novel, which he had submitted to his editor before his death, his daughter Maryrose said. He loved history, politics and travel.
His wife of 48 years, Mary Wall Sullivan, died in September.
Survivors include two sons, Mark Sullivan of Middleton, Wis., and Robert Sullivan of Oakton; four daughters, Karen Sullivan of Springfield, Maryrose Sullivan of Boston, Nancy Donoghue of Potomac Falls and Diane Ferguson of Torrington, Conn.; a brother; two sisters; and eight grandchildren.