Thomas Maugh II, Los Angeles Times science reporter, dies at 77

Thomas H. Maugh II, a Los Angeles Occasions science reporter with a doctorate in chemistry and a knack for promptly churning out complex entrance-site stories, died Monday at his property in Los Angeles immediately after years of declining well being. He was 77.

In his 26 yrs at The Moments, Maugh assisted viewers make perception of the medical analysis their life sometimes depended on.

He experienced an eye for the forgotten, reporting on the federal government’s continual undercounting of new HIV infections and how a gold-normal examination for detecting blocked arteries created inaccurate outcomes in gals.

“He could produce a science tale about everything,” mentioned Instances science and medicine editor Karen Kaplan, noting his knowledge in coronary heart illness, most cancers and diabetic issues.

Maugh’s colleagues recall him as an unassuming leader, unflappable below force, with a dry sense of humor and, when he applied it, a booming voice.

Rosie Mestel, who coated medication with Maugh, described him as “quiet and amazingly generous.” Even though he was a mainstay on the entrance web site, “he did not have any moi,” she said.

He could just take an “overwhelming tsunami of healthcare information and extract the one telling point that very best exemplified the information of the instant,” stated previous Instances science reporter Robert Lee Hotz, who sat beside Maugh for more than a ten years. “He experienced a scientist’s grasp of what he was masking.”

Born in Denver in 1943, Maugh grew up in St. Joseph, Mo. His father was a railroad and lumberyard worker, and his mom worked in a sweet factory.

Maugh graduated from MIT in 1965 with a bachelor’s diploma in science and humanities and earned a second diploma in chemistry the next calendar year.

In California, although pursuing his PhD at UC Santa Barbara, he achieved his potential spouse, Kathy, a fellow graduate university student.

“It was adore at 3rd or fourth sight,” Maugh wrote on Facebook final month, on their 54th marriage ceremony anniversary.

Prior to landing at The Periods in 1985, Maugh noted on science for Chemical & Engineering Information and Science journal.

His 1st front-page story for The Occasions in 1986 was about the explosion of the Challenger house shuttle, which killed all 7 crew associates.

“So there it was, disaster in space, the fiery horror of failure,” he wrote. “America, initial to the moon, would be still left to scavenge for particles, to grieve and console, to question programs and purposes in the trembling aftermath of a fireball in the Florida sky.”

Maugh bowled for numerous competitive leagues, 5 evenings a 7 days, such as with his relatives on Fridays. His title is engraved on plaques in bowling alleys throughout Los Angeles.

“He found his renaissance as a bowler,” his son, Todd, said.

In January 2003 in The Instances, Maugh chronicled his attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open up, a Experienced Bowlers Assn. tour celebration.

“This has been the most humiliating 7 days of my lifetime,” began the past tale in his five-element series. Maugh concluded 313th in a discipline of 347 bowlers. “I’m property, loading up on ibuprofen,” he concluded. “But delusions never die. I can do superior. Wait around till subsequent calendar year.”

Just after retiring from The Times in 2011, Maugh often created product Earth War II airplanes or went head to head with science deniers on Facebook.

Maugh is survived by his wife and sons Thomas H. Maugh III, Theodore E.D. Maugh and Todd Patrick Maugh, as perfectly as three grandsons.