Ex-Californian biz editor dies at 88
by Chris Roush
Joe Stevenson, a former business editor at the Bakersfield Californian, died Tuesday at the age of 88.
Dianne Hardisty writes, “In his goodbye column 42 years, six months later, Stevenson wrote that he enjoyed his Californian career that included stints as a reporter, assistant city editor, city editor, business editor and columnist.
“‘My favorite interviews have been those that introduce people who’ve had little publicity,’ he wrote, estimating that he interviewed 1,200 people for his ‘How’s Business’ column. He recalled his best column was one that he did not want to write. It was about a businesswoman who died unexpectedly at the age of 39. The donation of her organs saved or improved more than 10 lives.
“Stevenson’s column ‘was the template of its creator,’ said Press. ‘It was newsy and straightforward, and a popular feature of each Sunday’s Californian. Joe loved newspapers, the USC Trojans and the wildflowers on the hillsides along Kern’s highways.’
“Stevenson was known as a trustworthy person in the local business community.
“‘When he interviewed you, he would hardly take any notes. But when you read the story that he would write, it came out right,’ recalled Bakersfield business consultant Sheryl Barbich.”
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