|Wayne Friday (Photo: BAR)|
by Joe Siegel
Wayne Friday, longtime political editor and columnist for the Bay Area Reporter (BAR) in San Francisco, died October 12.
Friday, who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, committed suicide. He was 79.
Friday covered San Francisco’s political scene for decades in his “Our Man Friday” weekly column. He was also close to the late LGBT rights pioneer and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk.
“Wayne was a unique, gregarious character who was fascinated with politics,” said BAR editor Michael Yamashita. “He was in the right place at the right time on many occasions and ended up making history. His column was responsible for giving many gay and straight politicians their first introduction to the LGBT community.”
Milk was the newspaper’s original political columnist. “When Harvey finally won his seat on the Board of Supervisors, Wayne replaced Harvey and soon his column became essential reading in City Hall,” Yamashita said. “Wayne’s connections and sources guaranteed a weekly dose of political gossip, blind items, and predictions. He was a San Francisco character from the old school and I’m going to miss him.”
According to the BAR, Friday grew up in Flint, Mich., and joined the Navy after high school. He eventually found a job on Wall Street in New York. In 1970, he moved to San Francisco and befriended Bob Ross, who co-founded the BAR in 1971 and named Friday its political editor.
Yamashita said Friday retired from his column in 2004 but remained active in the community and connected to the political establishment and the BAR, but did not maintain as public a profile.
But he remained “a friend and colleague to many of us,” Yamashita said.
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