The extended Atlantic Monthly family lost one of its members yesterday, with the death from cancer of Kenneth Bacon, at 64. His daughter Katie was for a decade a crucial editor on our staff, including playing a large part in establishing our web site in the 1990s.

Her father Ken was a well-known and universally respected figure in the journalism and policy worlds. First as an accomplished reporter, serving for many years with the Wall Street Journal; then as public-affairs spokesman for the Defense Department in the Clinton Administration, when he was distinguished by telling the truth even in difficult circumstances; then as president of Refugees International. I knew him in all those roles and particularly admired his efforts before, during, and after the Iraq War to mitigate the damage to civilians in the area. Only three weeks ago, he wrote a trenchant essay in the Washington Post about what his dealings with melanoma had taught him about reform of the health care system.
 
Sympathies to his family. Our public life is much better for his role in it.