Edmund B. Lambeth, 87, passed away May 2, 2020, in Columbia. A celebration of Ed’s life will be held at a later date.
Ed lived an extraordinary life. After serving his country in military intelligence during the Korean War, he chose a life of service in journalism and education.
Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with honors in political science in 1954 and a master’s degree in journalism in 1955 from Northwestern University.
After beginning his career, he spent six memorable years as a Washington, D.C., correspondent for Gannett News Service. When he left in 1968, Ed created the Washington Reporting Program for the MU School of Journalism and directed it until 1978.
A version of his doctoral dissertation in political science from American University in 1976, “The News Media and the Arab Oil Embargo, The Perceived Impact of the Media on Energy Policy Making,” appeared as the lead article in Autumn 1978 of Journalism Quarterly.
He then served as a professor of journalism at Indiana University from 1978 to 1983 and director of the University of Kentucky School of Journalism from 1983 to 1987. Ed then returned to MU as associate dean for Graduate Studies and Research and served in that role until 1990, when he returned to full-time teaching, research and writing.
He later served as director of the Center on Religion and the Professions from 2004 until 2006, during which time it was awarded a $1.5 million continuation grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts Inc.
Regarded as an expert in journalism ethics, his books included “Committed Journalism, An Ethic for the Profession” (1986, 1992), “Assessing Public Journalism” (1998) and “Professional Creativity and the Common Good” (2009). He served as president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1997 to 1998.
A recipient of numerous awards, Ed was a Congressional Fellow (1961-1962), a Nieman Fellow at Harvard (1967-1968) and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Israel from 1997 to 1998 and in Hungary from 2001 to 2002. He was presented the University of Missouri Thomas Jefferson Award in 1995.
Ed is survived by his wife, Fran, with whom he helped found and served on the board of the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network. His volunteer work in the congregations of Missouri and Community United Methodist churches also included Bible study, prison ministry and church vision committees.
He also is survived by his two children, Linc Lambeth and Mary Naraghi, and two stepchildren, Aimee O’Connell and Ian Noyes, and their spouses; and 11 grandchildren. He will be missed.
Donations in Ed’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W., Columbia, MO 65202. Online condolences may be made at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.