John M. Couric, a wire service editor who said he gave up the “high priesthood of journalism” for a public relations career, in part to support a growing family that included the future television journalist Katie Couric, died June 22 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. He was 90.
His death, of complications from Parkinson’s disease, was confirmed by his daughter Katie, the former anchor of the “CBS Evening News” and co-host of NBC’s “Today Show” who is scheduled to start a daytime talk show for the ABC network.
“I encouraged her to go into broadcasting because I thought it was more promising than print, having been in print myself,” John Couric, an Arlington resident, told The Washington Post in 1991.
He covered Georgia politics and the state capitol for the Atlanta Constitution before joining the United Press wire service in the late 1940s. He reported from throughout the South for UP, chronicling the rise of then-Gov. Herman Talmadge of Georgia and a hurricane that in 1949 devastated the east coast of Florida.